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Baseball player balances academics with field time

By : Nicole Borawski

Jeff Monaco, a two-year Eastern College Athletic Conference merit medal winner, credits his academic success to playing a varsity sport at Binghamton University. The three-year right-field starter has maintained a 3.7 cumulative GPA in the School of Management.

“Playing baseball has taught me to budget my time, prioritize and keep me focused because when I’m not on the field I know there’s school work to be done,” said Monaco, who hopes to attend law school in Manhattan and become a corporate lawyer.

Monaco, 22, came to Binghamton after playing baseball for Seton Catholic Central High School where he learned to balance sports and schoolwork.

He set his sites on law school after interning at Levene, Gouldin & Thompson LLP. “I dealt with wills, estates and I even sat in on a medical malpractice suit,” said Monaco. “Working as an intern for Kathryn (Madigan) was cool and sparked my interest in law.” He continued to gain experience by interning at Hinman, Howard & Kattell LLP, where he learned more about corporate law.

Monaco’s true passion is baseball and his main goal has been for the team to win the America East con-ference championship this spring. “After graduation, I would love to play professionally on any team that drafts me,” said Monaco. “It would be the ultimate summer job, but if that doesn’t happen, then I will prepare for law school.”

Justin Smucker, a fifth-year senior and teammate, took Monaco under his wing his freshman year. “Justin is what everyone should aspire to be, on and off the field,” said Monaco. “He has never strayed off path or given up what he believes in.”

Monaco is also motivated by his faith. “I am very blessed to be able to do what I do, and I feel like, if I don’t maximize my ability, then I’m only cheating myself,” he said.

“Jeff’s individual and team work is well above average and he has excellent time-management skills, especially since it is baseball season and his senior year,” said Robert Cline, professor in the School of Management. “My class is about strategy, which plays into what Jeff does well in baseball and what he will do in his career.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08