“Big Blue Nation” track & field can be thankful for basketball, David Lipscomb University and the dilapidated streets of a Memphis neighborhood for propelling Royce Dates to Tennessee State University.
The sophomore exercise science major wrapped up the 2012 indoor track and field season with a jump of 24-10 ½ (7.58m), the Ohio Valley Conference indoor championship, and the only Tiger with a national ranking (ranked 30th). His performances early in his college career have some people, including himself, looking ahead to NCAA aspirations in the next two years.
Dates started with track & field in the eighth grade before attending Memphis’s Whitehaven High School, but his first love was basketball. ….
“Dates had to convince those proud family members and friends that Tennessee State was the right choice.
“They wanted to know why I chose TSU instead of the big-name schools,” he said. “At TSU, it’s a family environment. The coaches, professors, students and administrators care about how you get through school instead of just getting through school.”