According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), only three percent of football players coming out of high school get to play at the Division I level. Only one percent of basketball players get to play at that same level. At Sacred Heart University, freshman Kenneth Womack has beat the odds, competing in both sports at the Division I level.
Womack played basketball and football at Bishop McNamara high school, which is located in Upper Marlboro, Md. Throughout his recruitment process, he made it known to schools that he had a desire to play both sports at the Division I level.
Sacred Heart, a place he considered home immediately, found a way to accommodate that.
“It felt like home here,” said Womack. “So I signed in February, and then at that point I felt like I had the opportunity to play basketball too.”
Womack’s high school basketball coach reached out to Anthony Latina, the head basketball coach at Sacred Heart. Womack ended up putting together a highlight reel for Latina, who eventually offered him a spot on the team as a walk-on.
“Most Division I schools were not open to the idea of Kenny playing both sports because of the slight overlap in seasons,” said Latina.
In order to make sure that Womack could manage both sports, both the football and basketball coaches coordinated to make sure that their practice times would not conflict with each other. However, both agreed that when football season was in session, Womack would be solely focusing on that one sport, and when finished with the season, he would step onto the basketball court.
Now with the schedule of two Division I sports, Womack has to find time between his academics and his athletics.
“Most of my time is practice and workouts. After all of that, I usually go to study hall to get work done,” said Womack. “In my little bit of free time, I try to get on social media and keep in contact with my family.”
The coaching staff at Sacred Heart want what is best for Womack. Coaches understand that overtraining may be an issue.
“We will never put him at risk, and we will always make sure that it is the healthiest situation,” said Latina.
Womack presents himself both on and off the field as a young upcoming leader.
“There’s no question, he’s a student athlete, and one of the premiere athletes here at Sacred Heart,” said Latina. “He plays a big part in setting a tone for the team with his leadership.”
As he concludes his basketball season and begins his football one, he hopes his leadership, even as a freshman, can translate to success.
“I want to be a team guy first,” said Womack. “I know that by being a team guy, individual success comes. I’m just ready to play.”
The basketball team completed their regular season on Feb. 26 with a win against Fairleigh Dickinson University. Football kicks off on March 7 against Duquesne University at Campus Field.