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The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MAY 2020 THE WOLVERINE 15   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS Michigan junior forward Jack Becker is excelling on the ice and in the class- room. A student at the prestigious Ross Business School, the Dellwood, Minn., native is an academic All-Big Ten honoree and was the winner of the university's Male Rookie of the Year honor for the 2017-18 school year, which recognizes the top fresh- man student-athlete who has excelled both academically and athletically. "To be singled out like that, for aca- demics and athletics, it's pretty hum- bling," Becker said. "It's pretty cool. It's just a great environment to be in. It really pushes you to be your best." On the ice, he is a key contributor to the Wolverines' success and has scored 22 goals with 20 assists in three years of play. Although it is a challenge playing for one of the top hockey programs in the country while also attending one of the best business schools in the land, Becker would not have it any other way. "I've just always been really attracted to business my whole life," he said. "My dad runs a construction company, and I've just had the business mindset my whole life. It was a no-brainer for me to just work my hardest to try to get admitted to Ross." The hard work is paying off. Becker sees a lot of overlap between his stud- ies and his sport, and he's using it to his advantage in both areas. " The parallels between business and hockey are another thing that at- tracted me there," he said. "It's a lot of teamwork, managing different types of people, figuring out how to get ev- eryone together to achieve a common goal. "It's literally the same thing, the same concepts, you could argue. That's what attracted me to pursue that path." Becker's future is in good hands. He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft. He will have options in both busi- ness and hockey when he leaves U-M. He credits his time in Ann Arbor for preparing him for the next step — whatever that may be — when the time comes. "Every day, I'm being challenged in the classroom because I'm surrounded by people that are just so smart and brilliant," Becker said. "I have to do my best to make sure that I'm pushing my boundaries to be as smart as I can be, business-wise and school-wise. Then I get to the rink, and I'm competing in practice with some of the best players in the country — first-round picks and special players that are going to have long careers. It's just so challenging. "I think what's so special about it is it's just making me reach my potential and pushing me to become the best person and player I can be." Becker sees himself as an entrepre- neur, ready to take a risk and use those experiences to make it work. "I kind of just want to take a big risk, try to do something with what I've learned being a part of a team and starting a business," he said. "I'm in en- trepreneurship class right now, and I realize that taking that risk is really the biggest thing. " That's what I see myself doing. I just want to be a part of something or start something and just go from there. That would be pretty cool. When you're young, you might as well do it." For now, he's living in the moment, with just one year left at U-M. "I'm doing my best to soak in every day," Becker said. "The days go slow, but the years go fast. It's just crazy that it's going to be my senior year, so I'm just going to do my best to take it all in and make the most of it. It's crazy. I can't believe it. "It feels like yesterday I was just walk- ing on campus for the first time with my mom, moving into my dorm, meet- ing all the boys in my class — but it's been awesome." — Clayton Sayfie Becker has been an integral part of the Michigan hockey team since his freshman year, when he earned the athletic department's Male Rookie of the Year honor in 2017-18. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL Student-Athlete Of The Month Michigan Ice Hockey Junior Forward Jack Becker

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