George Lemmon - Squash
1. Name: George Lemmon
2. Class Year: 2017
3. Sport: Men’s Squash
4. Position: #8 on Ladder
5. Why did you choose Penn?
As someone that lives not too far away from Penn’s campus, I really had no intention of looking at Penn initially. Then I thought it wouldn’t hurt just to check out the campus and see what I liked and didn’t like so I could compare to other campuses. However, when I came, I found Penn to be the perfect fit for me. I loved being so close to the city of Philadelphia, but also having a very spacious college campus at Penn. The school is designed in such a way that if you want to be in the city, you can experience all the history and restaurants that it has to offer, but if you want to hide in your college campus where it’s not as claustrophobic, you can do that as well.
I also chose Penn for Wharton. It is the most difficult undergraduate business program in the country, and I wanted the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors in the country with some of the smartest students in the country.
6. What does the experience of being a Penn Squash student-athlete mean to you?
Being a student-athlete in general has really challenged me. It is difficult to be excel the way I would like to as both a student and an athlete, but when I do have the successes on the court and in the classroom, it means so much more because of how difficult it is to do well at both. Penn is obviously one of the best school’s in the country, and to do well in the classroom is no small feat. With squash, I have been here and seen the program rise from 14th in the country to 2nd in the country, and that took a lot of hard work. Seeing the team progress the way it has has undoubtedly been an incredibly invaluable experience that I wouldn’t get any other way. This experience has empowered me to know that I can do anything I set my mind to once I leave Penn.
7. What has been your favorite moment/memory with Penn Squash?
My favorite memory has to be beating Princeton my freshman year, ending a 40 year losing streak to them. It was not only the turning point for this program, but it showed me how deep Penn’s roots run. There were an incredible amount of emails and texts from alums I had never spoken to before congratulating me and the team and that is when I knew Penn is much bigger than what is seen on the surface. The celebration after is a memory I’ll never forget with my teammates.
8. What has been your favorite class to date and why?
My favorite class has to be sports business management with Scott Rosner. It really peaked my interest in the business side of sports and the class made me pursue a career in sports.
9. What does life after Penn look like (where you live, what you will be doing)?
I’m hoping to be working for the NFL in New York as a part of their Junior Rotational Program. However, I’m still going through the application process, so it is not set in stone yet.
10. What are some lessons that you have learned through athletics at Penn that will stay with you after graduation?
Hard work does reap benefits, pushing through when things aren’t going your way is the true challenge. Time management is incredibly important to be successful. On a team, one individual is no bigger than another. You must always put the team first.
11. Last year, over 156 Penn Squash alumni, family and friends made a financial contribution to your program to help provide you with things like equipment, training tools, uniforms, travel to away meets, meals on the road, sports medicine and sports performance. What would you say to those who invest in your experience as a Squash student-athlete?
As a player, I know that all of our racquets, shoes, bus trips, and everything else is not free. It appears free to us because we are just given it, but I know that it comes from a greater community that cares about us and helping us to succeed. It is not coincidence that this program has risen in rankings nationally since our 125th year anniversary my freshman year when we increased our fundraising exponentially. We as players are forever grateful for everything you guys have given to help us succeed during my time at Penn. These athletic accomplishments have taught me so much and have given me lifelong memories that I’ll never forget, but I know none of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for your generosity, so thank you so much for giving me these incredible memories and opportunities to be successful.