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Patriot League 20th Anniversary Profiles: Dr. Jennifer Bayer

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Sept. 10, 2010

Name: Jen Bayer
Institution: Lafayette College
Sport: Women's Basketball
Graduation Year: 2003
Undergraduate Degree:Biology
Did You Know?
Earned the Joseph Watt Kuebler Jr. Memorial Prize presented to the senior biology major with the highest scholastic average

Presently a fourth-year resident at University of Michigan Hospitals (Ann Arbor) in the field of Orthopedic Surgery, Bayer ranks among the top women's basketball players in Lafayette history. She ranks seventh in career field goal percentage (51.4) and rebounding (673), as well as ninth in career blocked shots in Leopards' annals.

  • Three-time Patriot League Academic Honor Roll recipient (2001-03)
  • Member of 1999-2000 Patriot League All-Rookie Team
  • Led squad in scoring and rebounding during her first two years at Lafayette

    Q: What factors helped in your decision to attend Lafayette College?
    A: For me, the greatest strength of Lafayette College was the quality of education combined with the ability to play division I basketball. At Lafayette, the professors taught the courses and the classroom size was manageable. I never felt that I was just a number, and some of the professors would come to the games and support the team. I knew basketball would be a stepping stone for the rest of my life and receiving a degree from Lafayette College opened many doors for my future.

    Q: Who were your sports idols growing up and why?
    A: I grew up watching Purdue and Indiana basketball nearly every winter night on TV since I was a little girl. These men and women were excellent role models and lead to my aspiration to become a D-I basketball player.

    Q: What was your proudest on-the-court accomplishment?
    A: I have two achievements which I am the most proud of. The first was scoring 21 second half points and grabbing 16 rebounds against LaSalle in the LaSalle Tournament during my freshman year. What most people do not know is that I was ill with the flu during this game, and it was extremely difficult to play when not feeling well. This game showed me that I could do anything as long as I put my mind to it.

    The second is grabbing Megan Haughey's missed free throw and scoring the game-winning shot against Sacred Heart during the 2000-2001 season. It was an exciting ending to a great game and I remember the entire team jumping up and down at center court celebrating the victory.

    Q: What was your proudest academic accomplishment?
    A: My proudest undergraduate academic accomplishment was graduating from Lafayette College with the highest GPA of any biology major going to medical school (Magna Cum Laude). My proudest postgraduate accomplishment was the day I received my medical degree from Indiana University. A 2007 graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine, I am a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society and received the J. Donald Hubbard Award at IU. It was a both a surreal and exciting moment to be called Dr. Jennifer Lynn Bayer.

    Q: How were you able to balance the demands in the classroom with the demands of being an athlete?
    A: Unlike fall or spring sports, basketball involved both semesters of school. As a result, you did not have the option of taking the hard courses during the off season. For me, this made time management crucial to succeed in the classroom and on the court. There were many times I would read over notes or work on a term paper while on the bus to and from a game. In addition, there were several science majors on the basketball team and we'd frequently study together to prepare for tests.

    Q: How did your experience as a student-athlete prepare you for life after college?
    A: One of the things Coach (Pat) Fisher always emphasized was that she wanted to prepare her student athletes for the game of life. At the time, we were all naïve, but today these words ring true. I feel these qualities she required from all her athletes, like effort, dedication, work ethic and teamwork, helped make me a better person.

    Q: If you could go back to college and compete one more time, where would it be and against whom?
    A: During my senior season, I sustained an ankle fracture at Army that ended my collegiate basketball career. If I could play one more time, it would be to revisit that game, not get hurt and beat Army.

    Q: If you had to offer current student-athletes some words of wisdom what would they be?
    A: Enjoy playing while you have the chance! Four years goes by so fast and you never know when you might have this opportunity end. It may seem like hard work right now, but you'll look back in the future and realize it was truly a great experience.

    Q: Do you still follow Lafayette athletics?
    A: Yes. Despite living so far from college hill, I've been able to follow Lafayette College athletics by the Internet. I've also had the chance to attend one Lafayette-Lehigh football game and one women's basketball game since graduation. Go Pards!

    Q: Looking back, what does it mean to you to have been a Patriot League student-athlete?
    A: Right now, I could not have been happier with my decision to attend Lafayette College. I was able to obtain a quality education and compete at a Division I basketball program. I feel that all the schools in the Patriot League placed the correct emphasis on the student portion of the student-athlete and truly cared about allowing each player to become the best they could be. I do not think I would be where I am today without the experiences I learned on and off the court.