Out of Habit: My Life as Xavier University's Unlikely Point Guard


Out of Habit: My Life as Xavier University's Unlikely Point Guard

  • 224 Pages
  • 7 X 10
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 978-1939710-185
  • Copyright 2014

By Laura Pulfer

For three decades, Sister Rose Ann Fleming has been the force behind Xavier's extraordinary academic record for its men's basketball players. Armed with an impressive stack of degrees of her own – including two master's, an MBA, a Ph.D and a law degree – the diminutive Catholic nun has made it her life's mission to help educate the young athletes who often arrived ill-prepared for the rigors of a Jesuit university. Since she founded the academic advising program, every player who reached his final year of eligibility has graduated. Every single one. No exceptions. How did she do it? With a combination of brilliance, grit and persistence. One young man came from a neighborhood where a thief stole his best Christmas present one year – a new basketball. Another arrived carrying a boombox and a few clothes. “I didn't know how to study or go to class,” he says. “She never gave up on me.” Another student insists, “She gave me an appetite for learning.” Still another called her from a Gulf War battlefront: “Can you help me come back to school?” She could and did.
Coming to Xavier after a successful career as a high school administrator and president of a prestigious college, Sister Rose Ann pushed, cajoled and charmed a wildly diverse roster of talented athletes toward their college degree, with some indelible life lessons along the way. 
This is her story. And theirs.

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