INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (EMUEagles.com) — Three Eastern Michigan University student-athletes will participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, May 26-28. Cali Harden (Saline, Mich.-Saline) of the gymnastics program, Courtnie Lewis (Belton, Mo.-Belton), and Luisa Pelayo (Porto, Portugal-Colegio CEBES-Wright State)) of the tennis team, from women’s basketball were all selected to attend.
The Career in Sports Forum, which will be held virtually this year, allows selected student-athletes to learn about and explore potential careers in sports, particularly college athletics. The experience helps student-athletes chart their career path while presenting copious opportunities for attendees to learn from current industry leaders.
Attendees were nominated by their school or conference, with only junior and senior student-athletes who participated in an NCAA-sponsored sport during the current academic year eligible to attend.
Harden competed on vault every meet for the Green and White in 2021, tying her career-high 9.800 twice. The Saline, Mich. product helped EMU capture the program’s fourth Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship. Furthermore, the Eagles qualified for NCAA Regional competition after finishing the season ranked 32nd in the nation.
“When I heard about the Career in Sports Forum, I knew it was something I would be interested in,” Harden said. “I never want to leave college athletics. My goal is to coach college gymnastics in the future, or do something in the academic advising field. When I was selected to partake in the forum, I was so excited! I cannot wait to connect with peers and also administrators within the NCAA.”
Lewis sat out the 2020-21 campaign with an injury. During the 2019-20 campaign, she became the 23rd EMU women’s basketball player to score 1,000 points in a career, reaching the mark versus Toledo, Feb. 29. An All-MAC Third Team selection and All-MAC Freshmen honoree in 2017-18, Lewis led all MAC freshman in points per game (15.0), three-point field goal percentage (40.5), and free throw percentage (77.8).
“I am super excited to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum and get to know all of the student-athletes there,” added Lewis. “I am really looking forward to expanding my knowledge of athletics beyond the court.”
Pelayo teamed with Grace Whitney to collect MAC Doubles Team of the Week honors three times this season. EMU’s No. 2 doubles pairing closed out the 2021 season with two wins at No. 2. Pelayo and Whitney earned a 6-3 win at Bowling Green, April 30, and followed that with a 6-4 victory against Buffalo on Senior Day, May 2. The redshirt juniors finish their season with 17 doubles wins as a pair.