De Leon Headed to BIG EAST SAAC Meeting
March 7, 2012
CHICAGO – Ray De Leon is stepping forward to assume a prestigious leadership mantle for DePaul.
The sophomore men’s soccer player has been chosen to represent the university at the BIG EAST Conference SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) Meeting March 30 at the Renaissance Hotel in Providence, R. I.
“I realized immediately what a great leadership opportunity this would be for me,” De Leon said. “I was really honored to have been chosen for this position.
“As I spoke about this at our last Captains’ Council meeting (Feb. 29th at the Athletic Center), I was inspired as I looked across the conference room and saw the faces of so many gifted and talented people. These are individuals who are going to be successful in whatever career path they choose.
“I felt blessed at that moment.”
De Leon was a standout as a freshman and was counted on to anchor the midfield last fall until he was sidelined with a season-ending injury.
“Ray is a leader within our athletic program even as a sophomore and will represent our Captains’ Council ably at this meeting with his peers in the BIG EAST,” said DePaul Associate Athletic Director Kathryn Statz. “We are more than pleased that he is able to attend this meeting and bring ideas and initiatives back to his fellow DePaul student-athlete leaders.”
De Leon became involved with Captains’ Council not long after arriving in Lincoln Park from Grand Prairie, Texas.
“When I became part of Captains’ Council my freshman year, all the others were upperclassmen,” De Leon said. “I was a bit intimidated being the youngest person there, but it was a really good maturing process for me. My leadership qualities have improved from being on Captains’ Council.
“At the SAAC conference, I want to learn what other student leaders and schools are doing that contribute to their success athletically and in the community. How do they reach out to the community and how do they promote athletic events on their campuses? How do they interact with students and develop their school pride?
“BIG EAST universities have enjoyed phenomenal success and support for their athletic programs. I’d like to find out how they reach out to students and promote events on campus.”
Just as he does on the soccer field, De Leon is going to bring his “A” game to Providence.
"I take a lot of value in attending SAAC,” he said. “For me, it’s a real humbling experience to represent our institution, and I intend to represent the university well.”