Pitcher Brooks McNiven credits rigorous academic demands at UBC for making him a better baseball player - photo courtesy of Brooks McNiven
UBC Reports | Vol. 54 | No. 7 | Jul. 3, 2008
Academic Rigour Makes for Earned Runs
By Brian Lin
Rigorous academic demands at UBC have helped Olympic hopeful Brooks McNiven make a career out of playing baseball.
“Very few people in pro ball finish college,” says McNiven, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics. “I received a first-rate education and more importantly, learned to manage my time and it’s made me a better player.
“Unlike some American schools that let athletes off easy, you earn your degree at UBC,” says the right-hand pitcher.
First drafted in the 46th round by the Blue Jays in 1999, McNiven came to UBC in the same year on a baseball scholarship. He played on the gold medal-winning Team BC at the Canada Games in 2001 and was on the NAIA All Region team for 2002 and 2003 before embarking on his first professional season with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Salem, Oregon.
Since then, McNiven has played for the San Jose Giants, the Connecticut Defenders, as well as with Team Canada at the 2007 World Cup and the 2008 Olympic qualifier for the Beijing Games.
Representing Canada in the Olympics would be “unbelievable,” says McNiven, who also played hockey, volleyball and basketball in high school in Vernon, B.C. “All of us have watched hockey players play for the country. To do that in baseball is the opportunity of a lifetime.”