Arizona State's Matt Anderson owns a dual major in Chinese and business administration.
And his dedication in the classroom has
produced a perfect academic record, with
the exception of a B his sophomore year in
organic chemistry and a C as a freshman in
"I guess the teacher didn't like my
ideas," Kessler said. "I have a tendency to
be very practical and logical. Some of my
essays were only three lines long. I guess I
prefer the scientific approach."
He has already been accepted by two
medical schools and will someday be
known as Dr. Kessler, though that title will
have to wait until he is finished playing basketball.
And that might take a few years, given
the NBA's interest in soft-shooting, disciplined big men. But when it happens, not
if, Kessler will be ready.
"I chose this field because it's one of the
best to prepare me for med school," said
Kessler, who has already lived in 10 cities.
"I enjoy a lot of the genetic aspects, and I
almost majored in genetics. But orthopedics
interests me, too."
Almost as much as the avenue of flight
intrigues Purdue's Jones, a 6-3 senior guard
who loves to sail through the air on the
court or in the cockpit of a plane.
There is a feeling of majestic power in
piloting an aircraft, not unlike the sensation
of soaring to the basket for a slam with the
score tied in the final minute against Indiana.
"It just depends on which one I'm doing
at the time," the aviation major said. "I
don't think about basketball when I'm flying. But sometimes it's the same feeling,
piloting a plane or going though the air on
my way to the basket."
With a 4.7 grade-point on a 6.0 scale,
Jones has proven a rigorous academic load
and a big-time college basketball career can
be successfully blended.
It can only happen with a dedicated effort, however. And dedication is one of the
first words people use to describe the Boilermaker backcourt leader.
"I was always taught academics came
first," Jones said. "Flying is just something
I've always wanted to do. I lived by an airport growing up, so this was a natural field
If a team takes Jones in the draft, it will
also be getting someone who can fly the
team plane or their commercial jet, in case
of an emergency.
That has been true at Purdue, too, though
Jones has never been forced to spring into
action. All he has had to do is convince
teammates his major is real.
"The other guys are always asking me
questions about planes when we fly," Jones
said. "Some of them found it hard to believe I could fly. But they do now."
So does Boilermaker coach Gene Keady,
who was Jones' passenger on a short flight
from Lafayette, Indiana, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, last summer. The takeoff and landing both went smoother than any conference
Jones dreams of being a commercial pilot
someday and will be approved to fly a 727
when he leaves West Lafayette, Indiana,
But has it been worth the extra time and
attention an unconventional major requires?
That is like asking a player if he was fouled
on a collision under the basket.
"It's pretty difficult," Jones said. "But if
you put enough time into something, you
can always come out on top. If you really
want to do something, you have to stick
Arizona State senior Matt Anderson, a 6-
4 junior guard, stuck his promising basketball career on the line to go on a two-year
mission for the Mormon church.
The transfer from Ricks College, a junior
college in Idaho, lived in Taiwan for two
years and became fluent in the language of
Mandarin Chinese, a huge aid in his double-major of Chinese and business.
"I think the language just became very
interesting to me," Anderson said. "After
that, I wanted to keep on it. And I figured
this was a great way to combine my two
Despite missing nearly a month this season with torn cartilage in his knee, he