Patriot League 20th Anniversary Profiles: Justin Zackey



Sept. 8, 2010

Name: Justin Zackey
Institution: Bucknell University
Sport: Lacrosse
Graduation Year: 1994
Undergraduate Degree:Biology and Geography
Did You Know?
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he is the only player in Bucknell lacrosse history to have two seven-goal games.

Justin Zackey was one of the most productive scorers in Bucknell lacrosse history. He still holds the school record for goals in a season (63) and career goals (138). He also holds the Bison record for points in a season recording 79 in the 1993 season. Zackey led the nation in goals per game in 1993 averaging 4.2 goals per game.

  • NCAA Division I All-American (1993 and 1994) (Honorable Mention)
  • NCAA Division I Academic All-American (1993 and 1994) (3rd team 1993, 1st team 1994)
  • First Team All-Patriot League (1993 and 1994)
  • Luce Foundation Scholarship Recipient (Studied ethnic issues in China during a year long- project)
  • During undergraduate summers, served as a teaching assistant for geography courses in Eastern Europe and West Africa.
  • Studied in London one semester
  • 1994 winner of the Christy Mathewson Award
  • Inducted into Bucknell University Hall of Fame in 2005.

    Q: What factors helped in your decision to attend Bucknell University?
    A: There were several. First, I knew Bucknell had a great academic reputation amongst liberal arts schools. I knew I wanted to focus on the sciences, and Bucknell had some great programs that were attractive. Second, I knew I wanted to play lacrosse at university, and coach Sid Jamieson was very persuasive as a recruiter. He was putting together a great program, and we can see that legacy today.

    Q: Who were your sports idols growing up and why?
    A: Wilbert Montgomery, because he was a Philadelphia Eagle and I had his jersey growing up.

    Q: What was your proudest on-the-field accomplishment?
    A: That's hard to say. I think it was probably a hit I laid on someone during a fight for a ground ball.

    Q: What was your proudest academic accomplishment?
    A: At Bucknell, it was getting the Henry Luce Fellowship which sent me to China for a year. Overall, it was finishing my Ph.D. at UCLA.

    Q: How were you able to balance the demands in the classroom with the demands of being an athlete?
    A: It wasn't easy. I was physically tired a lot after practice which sometimes made it hard to study. But, just like in practice, you just have to put your head down and do the work, and that's what I did.

    Q: How did your experience as a student-athlete prepare you for life after college?
    A: As a youth, playing sports was the only thing I wanted to do. My college experience was valuable because it helped me transition away from a sports-centered life to a more academically and intellectually-centered life. By the end of my senior year, I was ready to make sports the hobby and academics my career.

    Q: Do you think your records at Bucknell (most goals in a season, most career goals) will ever be broken?
    A: I hope so. I think it's great when the new generation sets records. Besides, the record is a little embarrassing to me because it means I did not pass enough.

    Q: If you could go back to college and compete one more time, where would it be and against whom?
    A: I'd like to go back and play with the guys I played with while I was at Bucknell. I was fairly shy in college, and it would be interesting to go back having lost much of my shyness.

    Q: What was it like serving as a teaching assistant for geography courses in Eastern Europe and West Africa? Was it difficult for you to adapt personally?
    A: Richard Peterec (who led the courses) has been one of the most influential people in my life. Growing up, my family did not have the opportunity to travel around the world and experience different places. Prof. Peterec's trips really opened my eyes and helped me mature as a person. They inspired me to be a global citizen, with a global perspective on politics, economy and culture.

    Q: What country was most intriguing to you in your worldly travels and why?
    A: Tough question. I have spent most of my time in China (and am currently there), but Eastern Europe still intrigues me. I just visited Norway this summer and loved it. I think I will spend more time in Europe as I get older.

    Q: How did it feel to be inducted into Bucknell University's Hall of Fame?
    A: Of course, I was extremely honored. I was especially excited to be inducted in the same class as my coach, Sid Jamieson. It was touching as well because it really shows how Bucknell, as an institution, reaches out to its alumni and tries to create a sense of community. I had great support at Bucknell, and this induction felt like an extension of that.

    Q: If you had to offer current student-athletes some words of wisdom what would they be?
    A: Your academic pursuits are number one. Sports can enhance those pursuits by giving you discipline, teamwork skills, physical stamina, etc. Sports are also a great way to release the stress of school. But, your body gets old fast, so find those intellectual interests that will stay with you your entire life.

    Q: Do you still follow Bucknell athletics?
    A: I keep tabs on the lacrosse team. The current program is really good at staying in touch with alumni which is much appreciated.

    Q: Looking back, what does it mean to you to have been a Patriot League student-athlete?
    A: I always felt most proud of the student-athlete awards and accolades. The Patriot League schools are all academically great.