When freshman squash player Antonio Diaz-Gonzalez learned he was going to be featured in Sports Illustrated, he didn't quite know what to make of it.
"I thought it would be cool to be in a magazine," he said, adding that because he is from Mexico, he didn't realize that Sports Illustrated wasn't just any old magazine.
"I'd seen them before, but I'd never bought one," he said.
It was only after he starting telling friends that Diaz-Gonzalez learned Sports Illustrated is the preeminent sports publication in the U.S., with an average readership of 23 million per week. To top it off, Diaz-Gonzalez was featured in "Faces in the Crowd," one of the most popular features of the weekly magazine.
To see Diaz-Gonzalez in Sports Illustrated, click here.
An appearance in Sports Illustrated was the perfect conclusion to Diaz-Gonzalez's memorable rookie year. With 24 straight wins to start the season and an overall record of 24-2, he was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year and selected First-Team All-NESCAC. The team, which competes through the Collegiate Squash Association, also had a good season. They won the Conroy Division Championship and closed out the season with an eight match winning streak.
Coach Bill McNally said the team owes a lot of that success to Diaz-Gonzalez.
"Antonio is not only a gifted athlete, but a very focused and determined competitor," McNally said. "His demeanor set the standard for the team. It is an honor to be the coach of such an outstanding person and athlete."
In the classroom, Diaz-Gonzalez is studying Chinese, microeconomics, U.S. politics and astronomy. He is considering a major in international relations and minors in Chinese and economics.