Scott Bondy

One “C” Inspires All Other “C’s”

by Scott Bondy January 08, 2009 in Hockey


Quite possibly more than any other major sport, hockey poses the biggest gap between the college and pro ranks. Fewer college standouts are drafted to the NHL than say the NBA, NFL or MLB.

When you have a game so distinctly separate from its professional counterpart, it’s easy to assume college hockey’s purity. Purity means playing for all the right reasons. Purity accounts for the respect for the game. Purity is what every sport, at any level, hopes to achieve.

Problem is, in order to do so, the sport needs guys and gals with great character.

Character is what inspires the other “C’s”. The classroom and community are avenues that the Lowe’s Senior Class Award recognizes as important—and obviously they are. But how important would those be without a solid character foundation?

In other words, character is something that we build from birth; it’s something we work on each and every day. From there we apply it to the classroom and community. Where would an athlete be in the classroom without his/her drive and ambition? Lost.

The same goes for the community. An athlete who establishes themselves as a positive force in the community does so because of their character. This award is for great athletes that do great things in the classroom, community and in competition. Think about the true root of those grades and stats. 

As a company, the Lowe’s motto is, “Let’s build great things together.” Isn’t that exactly what character is?

It’s proven that character starts to develop at an early age and continues through adulthood. The ages aren’t conclusive but one thing is: Character does not change quickly. By the time a student-athlete comes to their senior year it’s time to recognize them for all they’ve done. 

Coming back for a senior season shows strong character. Getting an education is what being a student-athlete is all about. That’s what makes each and every one of the candidates so special, but again I’ve got to single out the hockey folks.

There’s a unique choice in hockey when an athlete must decide whether to take the college or the junior route. Juniors is a level of hockey that prepares many talented individuals for a career in the NHL. It stresses a grueling hockey schedule without much emphasis on education.

Trust me, it’s a tough decision. The lure of instant dollar bills versus the investment of a degree. Having looked at the list of candidates this year I’m confident quite a few could have played at a high level in junior hockey. But you won’t hear any of them regret their choice. They chose school and they chose right—because of the “C”.

The Lowe’s Senior Class Award is designed to honor what a student-athlete has accomplished. But what we’re really honoring is their good character because without it they wouldn’t have done anything worth rewarding in the classroom or the community.

So when looking at the different candidates for this year’s award, remember hockey’s purity and how it was achieved through the amazing student-athletes that decided to share their character with us.