University of North Carolina defensive lineman Kaimon Rucker, a junior majoring in psychology, has been named a Military Bowl 3M STEM Scholar-Athlete.
Rucker, who is from Hartwell, Georgia, aspires to become a sports psychologist. He has a 2.95 grade-point average.
“Sports psychologists as a vital part of every sports team,” Rucker said. “Mental health is more important now than ever before. In order to optimize player performance and to help athletes maintain a positive mindset consistently, sports psychologists can step in that gap to bridge together an athlete’s mental and physical.
“Sports psychologists can be used as a “coach,” off the field or court. They are often seen as people you see when you’re mentally weak, however, they’re actually used to strengthen the mind, establish themselves and create resources for athletes to use, and prioritize their health before an athlete’s sport.”
On the field, Rucker tied for second on the team last season with four sacks. He also is a talented singer and was one of four student-athletes to sing the national anthem prior to the 2022 NCAA Final Four.
“Kaimon is a wonderful person and student who is incredibly driven and passionate,” University of North Carolina academic counselor Kathy Zambrana. “He has a keen understanding of the vital role of mental health, especially as it relates to athletics. Kaimon is a wonderful student with a strong work ethic. He strives for success in all that he does. It has been a joy to watch such a special person develop his academic interest as he pursues his degree.”
The Military Bowl and 3M are proud to announce the members of the second annual Military Bowl 3M STEM Scholar-Athlete Program, recognizing some of the brightest minds taking the football field in the ACC and the American Athletic Conference.
“Once again the Military Bowl 3M STEM Scholar-Athlete Program is shining a light on a remarkable group of student-athletes,” Military Bowl President & Executive Director Steve Beck said. “These young men are leaders on and off the field, taking head on the challenges of rigorous course work while helping their teams every Saturday.”
The Military Bowl 3M STEM Scholar-Athlete Program honors one football player at each university that is a member of the ACC and the American Athletic Conference – the two conferences that are represented in the Military Bowl college football game. These players are studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects and/or aspire to STEM careers.
“3M is excited to recognize these outstanding students pursuing degrees in STEM-related fields,” said Skip Driessen, Director of 3M Government Markets. “We know how hard these scholar-athletes have worked on the field and in the classroom and look forward to their continued success.”