KINGS POINT, N.Y. (April 3, 2019) – To celebrate NCAA Division III Week, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) caught up with some of the top senior student-athletes at the Academy to find out why they chose to compete at the Division III level at USMMA. Our next spotlight of "#D3Week" is with women's lacrosse captain Hannah Gizzi (Finksburg, Md.).
Gizzi has started all four years between the pipes for the Mariners and was the backstop of the 2018 Skyline Championship Team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Gizzi has had a well-decorated career at Kings Point – she was the Academy's Rookie of the Year and named to the Landmark First Team All-Conference after her freshman season and continued the success into the Skyline Conference as the First Team All-Conference goalie in both 2017 and 2018.
Off the playing field, Gizzi has served as the Second Company Executive Officer (XO) USMMA's Regiment of Midshipmen.
What made you choose to come to the Academy?
I chose the United States Merchant Marine Academy because of all of the opportunities that I would be given. Everything from the challenges of being a service academy, the ability to play a DIII sport, getting a great education, traveling the world over sea year and the many post-graduation options. I also knew that Kings Point would get me ready for the real world by teaching me life lessons and developing my leadership abilities.
What have you learned while here?
The list of things that I have learned at KP is endless. Between my education in the classroom, leadership skills in the regiment, real life challenges over sea year, being a student-athlete, and the small things I do day-to-day, I can say that my learning experience has been extremely diverse. The biggest thing that I have learned is taking responsibility for yourself and your future. Knowing your limits and managing your time will bring you success in any aspect of Kings Point from the athletic fields, classrooms, regiment, etc.
What has been the best part of being a Division III student-athlete?
I see being a Division III student-athlete as an incredible privilege. Being able to practice and compete with my teammates and best friends every day is something I wish every college student could experience. The best part for me about being a Division III athlete is having a balance between school, regiment, and sports. Overall you truly get the entire student-athlete experience. The one day that I will never forget is winning the Skyline 2018 Conference Championship. That feeling of accomplishment and victory will be something I will cherish forever. But, the overall best part about playing as a Division III athlete is seeing all the progress this program has made over my four years - knowing that you contributed to something that you can look back on one day and be extremely proud of.
How has being a Division III Athlete prepared you for your future? What's next for you?
I can positively say that being a Division III Athlete has prepared me in ways no other avenue or activity could have. Being a student-athlete sets you apart from the regular crowd – you know how to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Being a Division III athlete gives you leadership abilities, knowledge of time management, and most of all determination. All of these skills will help me in my future experiences sailing as a Third Assistant Engineer upon graduation.
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