By: Taylor Browne and Julie Laugel/GCU Staff
“Anyone interested in playing club sports should take the opportunity for their own growth and to help others grow as well.”
Seniors Jaime Massey and Brendan Fleming both epitomized that theory, and that’s why they were chosen as the GCU Club Sports March Student-Athletes of the Month. Although their seasons and school years did not end as planned, the athletes have shown tremendous dedication to their respective sports throughout their journey at GCU, and have used their club sports experience to help prosper in many aspects of their lives.
Jaime Massey: Women’s Rugby
“Jaime helped build our culture from the very beginning,” said GCU Women’s Rugby Head Coach Lindsey Mahoney.
Grand Canyon University Women’s Rugby senior Jaime Massey has left a big impression on the program from the very start. Massey has been with the team since its inaugural season in 2016-17.
“Jaime has helped to build a culture that puts each other first,” said Mahoney. “She is constantly positive and builds the other girls up, which is so valuable.”
As a sophomore, Massey suffered from an ACL and meniscus tear, forcing her season to be cut short, and also keeping her from the pitch for her entire junior year. However, Jaime became a very important asset coming into last season as a Lope.
“She came back fighting,” said Mahoney. “She was a standout player each and every game. I would say that our team’s biggest strength this season was their resilience, and Jaime reflected that trait through and through.”
Massey is not only a positive influence on the pitch, but also in the classroom. Massey will be graduating with her degree in history for secondary education with a 3.8 GPA. She will use her degree as a social studies teacher at Morris K. Udall Middle School in central Phoenix.
“I am so excited to bring all of the amazing skills and life lessons that I learned in my degree program – as well as on the field – into my classroom,” said Massey.
From the pitch to the classroom, Massey doesn’t understate the impact Mahoney has had on her as a student-athlete.
“When she took over the program, I was super excited to be under the leadership of a seasoned rugby player,” said Massey. “Not only does she have a love for the game, she has a love for all of us that is so apparent and amazing to see in a young coach.”
Massey also doesn’t understate the impact the women’s rugby program has had on her as a student-athlete.
“Rugby brought me the best role models, taught me the toughest lessons about mental toughness and resilience, and also brought lifelong friends into my life,” said Massey.
Brendan Fleming: Men’s Volleyball
GCU senior Brendan Fleming is a middle blocker who has been a member of the GCU Men’s Club Volleyball team since 2018.
His journey as a GCU volleyball player began on the Lopes’ NCAA Division I Men’s Volleyball team. While he enjoyed playing and growing as an athlete with the high-level players and coaches, he soon switched gears to play club volleyball in order to relieve some of the pressure and commitment that come with playing on the NCAA teams and focus on having fun.
“Even though it was the hardest decision I’ve ever made, I believe it was the right one, and club was there to help me pick back up where I left off,” said Fleming.
Fleming’s dedication to college volleyball was molded by his life-long training. He began playing volleyball in middle school, and prior to coming to GCU, he participated in high school club volleyball as well.
“My biggest influences thus far would have to be my old high school club coaches,” said Fleming. “They taught me all I know about volleyball, and more importantly, played a huge role in how I conduct myself – on and off the court.”
Through relationships with teammates and coaches that will last a lifetime, and an understanding of how to use practice and dedication to achieve a goal, Fleming extends his GCU Club Sports experience off the court into many aspects of his life.
“Being a part of this program has been great for me,” said Fleming. “It’s given me a chance to get back into playing the sport I love, and I’ve met so many great people who will be friends of mine for years to come.”
Fleming is majoring in finance and economics at GCU. After graduation, he plans to work in the financial analytics field.
Interested in joining GCU Club Sports? Visit the GCU Club Sports page for more information!