The Kean University Athletic Training Club is hosting Home Runs For Hector, a kickball tournament, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Harwood Arena.
The cost to participate is $5 per person and there are eight players allowed per team. All of the proceeds from the tournament will go toward the Hector Gomez Memorial Scholarship.
Sophomore athletic training major Juliana Romero, added that the winning team of the tournament will win prizes. She said that this is an annual event, but the club hosts a different type of event every year and this year it is kickball.
Assistant Athletic Trainer Jayme Levine, MS, ATC is the adviser of the Athletic Training Club and knew Hector Gomez, the honoree of the scholarship, personally.
Lance Corporal Hector Gomez was a sophomore student in Kean's athletic training program when his life was tragically taken during spring break of 2014 in a car accident.
Levine explained how Kean's athletic training program is unlike many other programs due to the required long hours, vigorous classes and the extensive workload. But through this program and time commitment, athletic training students create strong bonds among each other.
"We consider ourselves a family and on that tragic day we lost a member of ours," Levine said. "I was the graduate assistant to the athletic training education department and was very close with Hector."
Levine spent every day with Gomez for close to two years. Levine described Gomez as unlike any other student he has ever seen.
"He was a Marine, he was driven, he was passionate and always had a smile," Levine said. "Hector could not settle for mediocrity and would push himself, his classmates and even myself to reach our highest potential."
A compassionate student always willing to lend a hand to help mentor freshmen students or anyone in need, Levine described him as loud, energetic, intense and over the top.
"Let's just say you knew when Hector was around," Levine added.
Levine saw the situation as an opportunity to bring his classmates and program together through honoring Gomez in the best way they could.
"We did this by committing to one another to live without regrets, to never be second best and to embrace every opportunity to the fullest," Levine said.
Once the senior class of 2017 graduates, no students in the program would have had the opportunity to meet Gomez.
"Hector is missed every day but the Hector Gomez Scholarship gives us an opportunity to keep his name in these doors and allows future class opportunities as an upperclassmen he unfortunately did not get to have," Levine said.
To Levine, Gomez has become a symbol of "the impact we choose to have can be as great as we desire."
He inspired Levine and fellow members of the program to live a life of fulfillment, have no regrets and always remember to smile.
"He is more than a student to this community; he is more than a friend. He is family and he will never be forgotten," Levine concluded.
If interested in become involved in the event, students can sign their team up outside of the athletic training room in Harwood Arena.
For more information and to stay updated on all things KUAT, follow the club on Instagram at @KUAthleticTraining.