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Putting Sports Vision into Action

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Batter swings to hit a ball in baseball game.

The concept of hitting a baseball is a rather simple one. Follow the pitched ball with your eyes, swing as it approaches, and hit it. But the higher the level of competition, the more difficult it gets. Not everyone can hit a 98 mph fastball or a 85 mph slider that bends and moves as it approaches home plate. As those pitch speeds increase, the time to see, process, and react decreases, down to a half-second per pitch!

Knowing this, athletes will now incorporate sports vision studies and treatments into their development to become the best they can be. And SUNY’s College of Optometry helps many professional and amateur athletes improve their sports and performance vision.

On July 7, associate professor and director of SUNY Optometry’s Sports and Performance Vision Center, Dr. Daniel Laby, and four third-year Doctor of Optometry students from his summer sports vision elective course, traveled to one of the premiere venues in all of Major League Baseball at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, to examine the visual abilities of 40 baseball prospects.

SUNY Optometry students testing the Cape Cod League players

SUNY Optometry students testing the Cape Cod League players and their visual function.

The students, under Dr. Laby’s supervision, tested visual function, including acuity and contrast sensitivity using targets shown for only milliseconds, as well as the hand/eye coordination and reaction times of the players. The abilities shown during these tests can show signs of future potential of these players, all of whom are college prospects playing in the renowned Cape Cod Baseball League this summer in hopes of entering the Major League Baseball draft in 2017.

During their downtime, the group toured Fenway, getting an insider’s view of the park’s famed Green Monster in left field as well as the visitor’s dugout.

Dr. Laby is one of the foremost experts on sports and performance vision, having begun his work in the field nearly 25 years ago with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has also been responsible for the visual performance of eight other MLB teams as well as for the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics and the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings. Dr. Laby also worked with the US Olympic team prior to the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

“It was a wonderful experience for the students to put into action on the ‘field,’ what they have been learning in class for the past several years,” Dr. Laby said. “Hopefully several of the players screened today will be selected in the upcoming draft and will start their careers in baseball as our students begin their careers in eye care, having crossed paths in one of the most historic ballparks in America on this warm summer day.”

July 12, 2016

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Athletics

Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work

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SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.

 

And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach

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Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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Athletics

SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure

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Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog: www.crazyguyonabike.com/sistahbikers.

 

SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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