Welcome to NCAA Digital's #UnitedAsOne series. We'll be interviewing student-athletes to highlight those affected by the pandemic and celebrate the value & positive impact of college sports.
Scroll below to find some of the best content from this series. Click or tap here for a link to the full playlist.
Texas Tech baseball's Jace Jung is joined by his brother, and 2019 MLB draft pick, Josh
These two Red Raiders share the same sport, college and last name. Current Texas Tech infielder Jace Jung and his brother, former Red Raider and 2019 MLB draft pick, Josh recently spoke with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. They discuss their relationship, sibling rivalry and what they've learned from each other over the years.
Stanford lacrosse's Jay Browne on scoring four goals in her collegiate debut
While her freshman season was cut short, Stanford's Jay Browne still began her career with a bang. She scored a team-high four goals in the season opener at Denver on Feb. 6. Browne talks about that moment and more with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer.
Texas A&M track and field's Devin Dixon shows off his Lego creations
Texas A&M's Devin Dixon has found a new hobby during quarantine: Legos. The track and field athlete is building complex sets with his brother, and shows a few them off in this interview with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. Dixon displays some of his best work at 2:28.
Oklahoma softball's Nicole Mendes talks about the advantages to being a lefty
Oklahoma's Nicole Mendes is a lefty, and she believes that left-handed players have a few advantages over their right-handed counterparts. Start the video at 7:49 to learn more.
Oklahoma softball's Jocelyn Alo talks about her previous experience as a wrestler
Jocelyn Alo's first sport wasn't softball. She actually began her athletic career as a wrestler, following in the footsteps of her father. Alo discusses how, and why, she made the switch from wrestling to softball at 1:59.
Kentucky track and field's Chloe Abbott shows off her vocal range
Kentucky track and field's Chloe Abbott is a theatre major with a minor in vocal performance. In this interview with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer, Abbott performs a brief rendition of Cynthia Erivo's "Stand Up." Start the video at 5:28 to hear it.
BYU women's volleyball's Kennedy Eschenberg tells the story behind her favorite song
Kennedy Eschenberg's favorite song is "International Harvester" by Craig Morgan. When she's not listening to it before a match, she's trying to convince her teammates that it's the "best song ever." Eschenberg's love for this tune began as a kid. She explains the story behind it at 2:03.
How Illinois women's basketball's Mackenzie Blazek transformed herself into Joe Exotic
That's not a typo in the headline. Illinois' Mackenzie Blazek recently transformed herself into Joe Exotic, the main character from the Netflix series "Tiger King." Start the video at 2:24 to see how Blazek made it happen.
Arkansas track and field's Hunter Woodhall on being the first double amputee DI athlete
Hunter Woodhall is the first double amputee to compete at the Division I level. In this video, he discusses using TikTok to tell his Paralympic story (1:05), his photography and videography hobbies (6:00) and his love for his parents (6:50).
Celebrate Mother's Day
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 10. Here are three #UnitedAsOne interviews that celebrate parenthood.
- UCLA softball's Jenavee Peres and her son's first interaction with the team: 'Everyone welcomed Levi and I with open arms'
- Holy Cross women's basketball's Lauren Manis is joined by her mom, who discusses the forward's growth over the years
- Utah women's volleyball's Dani Drews talks about playing for her mother's alma mater
Oklahoma State women's basketball's Vivian Gray describes her intense encounter with a goat
Oklahoma State forward Vivian Gray grew up on a farm. Her family once owned over 120 goats, one of which wasn't very friendly. But Gray believed that she could mellow him out. That didn't go as planned. She tells the story of her encounter with the mean goat at 2:18.
Duke women's basketball's Jaida Patrick explains the inspiration behind her photoshoots
Duke guard Jaida Patrick is working on photoshoots during quarantine. Sometimes she's the photographer, and sometimes she's the subject. Patrick does all of this herself, and says that she wants to inspire young girls that look like her. Start the video at 1:03 to learn more.
Candace Parker surprises Tennessee center Tamari Key for an interview
Georgetown men's soccer's Daniel Wu and Tomas Romero on winning the 2019 national championship
Georgetown men's soccer's Daniel Wu and Tomas Romero joined NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer to discuss the Hoyas' 2019 national championship. Wu and Romero are freshmen, but they both made clutch plays in the title game against Virginia.
Wisconsin women's hockey's Kristen Campbell discusses the letter she wrote to Badgers fans
When the 2019-20 women's ice hockey season was cut short, so too was Kristen Campbell's career as a Badger. To show her appreciation, the senior goaltender wrote a letter to Wisconsin fans back in April. Campbell spoke with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer about the letter and her favorite memories at Wisconsin.
Utah women's volleyball's Dani Drews discusses playing for her mother's alma mater
Outside hitter Dani Drews isn't the first person in her family to play for coach Beth Launiere. Her mother was also a member of the Utah women's volleyball's team. Drews talks about that connection, and their close relationship, at 2:13.
Minnesota women's volleyball's Regan Pittman tells the story of how she got her dog 'Earl'
Minnesota women's volleyball's Regan Pittman loves dogs, so much so that she made a six-hour round trip to adopt one. The mini Aussie named "Earl" makes a guest appearance with Pittman in this interview with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. Start the video at 0:34 to hear the story behind Earl's name.
The latest from Mike Lopresti
Hall-of-fame writer Mike Lopresti is keeping up with student athletes to tell their stories during the pandemic.
Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson surprises Army's Jacob Hurtubise
What Jacob Hurtubise of Army thought was an interview conducted by NCAA.com's Michella Chester turned into a surprise appearance from Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. Watch Hurtubise's reaction at 0:12 and listen to Swanson's advice to the West Point senior at 4:50 and 7:28.
Penn State coaches Carolyn Kieger and Ginny Boggess: How they are keeping up with their student-athletes
The #UnitedAsOne series has extended its reach to the coaches leading their student-athletes through the COVID-19 pandemic. Penn State coaches Carolyn Kieger and Ginny Boggess detail how they've kept their team united at 0:35 and how the legacy of Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw revolutionized DI women's basketball.
Saint Anselm women's hockey's Amanda Conger discusses the decision to donate her kidney
Saint Anselm forward Amanda Conger has an incredible story to tell. She made a life-saving donation in 2019 and gave one of her kidneys to a man she barely knew. Conger speaks with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer to explain how it all unfolded.
Penn State men's lacrosse's Mac O'Keefe reveals his favorite New York sports teams
Penn State's Mac O'Keefe recently spoke with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. Both are native New Yorkers, so, naturally, Chester had to ask the important questions: Giants or Jets? Yankees or Mets? Rangers or Islanders? O'Keefe reveals his favorites at 2:11.
LSU softball's Taylor Pleasants describes the encounter that led to her fear of spiders
It was Alabama softball's Montana Fouts who originally posed the question to LSU infielder Taylor Pleasants: Is she more afraid of big spiders or little spiders? "All spiders" is what Pleasants told NCAA.com's Michella Chester. She had a gruesome experience with one as a kid. Start the video at 0:36 to hear her story.
North Dakota men's hockey's Jordan Kawaguchi breaks down his between-the-legs goal
North Dakota forward Jordan Kawaguchi scored 15 goals last season. One of his most impressive happened to be a between-the-legs score. Kawaguchi breaks down the play with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer in this interview. A highlight of the goal starts at 5:25.
Clarkson women's hockey's Elizabeth Giguere on being a role model for young girls
Clarkson forward Elizabeth Giguere recently spoke with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer. In the interview, Giguere was asked about the special message she received from a young fan, and what it means to be a role model for girls. Start the video at 4:17 to hear her response.
UCLA softball's Jenavee Peres and her son's first interaction with the team: 'Everyone welcomed Levi and I with open arms'
Jenavee Peres' unconventional — and inspirational — return to softball began with a call from UCLA. Peres illustrates the surprising call at 2:00 and the rush after hitting her first home run as a Bruin at 5:35. Her son, Levi, makes an appearance at 2:45 and again at 7:00.
Syracuse's Tiana Mangakahia's advice to those struggling with COVID-19: 'Look at the positive side of things'
After a fight with breast cancer, Tiana Mangakahia understands the pain so many people are feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her advice is to take each day one step at a time. While being back home in Australia, Mangakahia also explains her emotions after skipping this year's WNBA draft.
Washington softball's Sis Bates announces her return next season, debuts new puppy
Washington infielder Sis Bates was playing whiffle ball with her neighbors when she learned that the NCAA would extend eligibility for student-athletes impacted by COVID-19. Bates tells NCAA.com's Michella Chester that she will return for the 2021 season. She also introduces her new puppy, Nala, during the interview at 4:24.
Kansas State's Peyton Williams showcases her guitar skills
This whole interview is great, but start it at 6:33 to see Peyton Williams play "Hallelujah" on the guitar. In addition to being a musician, Williams is a dual-sport athlete at Kansas State. She's a forward on the women's basketball team and a middle blocker on the volleyball team.
Oregon softball's Haley Cruise and Jas Sievers discuss the story behind their popular TikTok videos
Oregon's Haley Cruse and Jas Sievers recently spoke to Michella Chester of NCAA.com. Cruse was batting .457 and had 16 RBIs in 2020 before the season was cancelled. Sievers also tallied 16 RBIs, including four multi-RBI games. Highlights of the interview can be found below.
- The teammates explain the story behind their popular TikTok videos
- Perfecting a seconds-long video takes them anywhere between a few minutes to an hour to complete
- Cruse, Sievers and Chester make an impromptu TikTok, which begins at the 8:21 mark of the interview
How Minnesota-Duluth's Scott Perunovich learned he won the Hobey Baker Award
Defenseman Scott Perunovich chats with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer. Perunovich, who won two national championships at Minnesota-Duluth, was recently named the 2020 Hobey Baker Award winner. He will play professionally for the NHL's St. Louis Blues.
- Perunovich was at his cabin in Minnesota when he learned that he'd won the Hobey Baker Award
- The story of how he heard the news begins at the 0:37 mark of the video
- Finally, Perunovich gives his advice to those looking to succeed in college hockey
Arizona softball's Jessie Harper is closing in on an NCAA record
Arizona shortstop Jessie Harper chats with Michella Chester of NCAA.com. Before the 2020 season was cancelled, Harper was batting .395 on the year with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. Highlights of the interview can be found below.
- Harper's sister, Makenna, is an outfielder for arch-rival Arizona State
- She is returning for the 2021 season, and needs 19 home runs to tie the all-time NCAA record of 95
- Her family recently adopted a Maltese puppy
Wisconsin women's basketball's Suzanne Gilreath discusses her passion for storytelling
Wisconsin guard Suzanne Gilreath caught up with Jenny Fischer of NCAA.com. Gilreath averaged 5.1 points and 1.2 rebounds per game and led the Badgers with 43 3-pointers this season. Below are some highlights from the interview.
- Gilreath has a podcast that features current and former student-athletes telling their stories
- Some of her goals include playing professionally, getting a master's degree and becoming a sports reporter
Florida State beach volleyball's Madison Fitzpatrick says she's the best dancer on her team
Florida State's Madison Fitzpatrick checks in with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. Fitzpatrick posted a 10-3 record in 2020 before the season was cancelled. Here are some highlights from the interview.
- Fitzpatrick is writing about how she's coped with the cancellation of the national championship
- The junior says she's "for sure" the best dancer on the team
- Now close friends, Fitzpatrick said that teammate Alaina Chacon "didn't even like me" when they first met
Stanford basketball's Fran Belibi is studying to become a doctor
Stanford forward Fran Belibi chats with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer. The freshman averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor. Below are some highlights from the interview.
- Following in the footsteps of her parents, Belibi is studying to become a doctor
- Her favorite moments of the season were an exhibition against Team USA and playing in the Pac-12 tournament
Nebraska volleyball's Nicklin Hames shares the story behind her pink hair
Setter Nicklin Hames recently caught up with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. Hames was named to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2019. Below are some highlights from the interview.
- The junior, who played in the national championship as a freshman, offers her advice to young setters
- Her sister, Kayleigh, is an outside hitter at Pepperdine
- Hames confirms that she is Nebraska's "hype man"
Louisville baseball's Reid Detmers is learning how to cook in his spare time
Pitcher Reid Detmers speaks with NCAA.com's Michella Chester. The 2019 ACC Pitcher of the Year was 3-0 on the mound in 2020 before the season was cancelled. Detmers also threw 48 strikeouts in just 22 innings with a 1.23 ERA.
- Detmers shares his memories from Louisville's run to the 2019 College World Series
- He's been cooking plenty of chicken, although his favorite restaurant is Texas Roadhouse
- The Illinois native also reveals one teammate that he wouldn't want to quarantine with
Mississippi State's Sidney Cooks, joined by her chihuahua, discusses her musical talent
Mississippi State guard Sidney Cooks (and her chihuahua) recently spoke with Jenny Fischer of NCAA.com. Cooks sat out the 2019-20 season after transferring from Michigan State. She averaged 9.5 points per game and led the Spartans in blocks (32) as a sophomore in 2018-19.
- Cooks revisits Mississippi State's come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M on Feb. 9, when the Bulldogs erased an 11-point halftime deficit to win 69-57
- She also plays four instruments: piano, guitar, bass and bassoon
Oregon State women's basketball's Mikayla Pivec on providing meals for healthcare workers
Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec checks in with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer. Pivec scored 14.9 points and grabbed a team-high 9.3 rebounds per game in her senior season. Below are some highlights from the interview.
- Pivec plans to provide meals for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
- She discusses what's next in her career, including preparation for the 2020 WNBA draft
Texas women's basketball's Charli Collier kicks off the #UnitedAsOne series
Texas forward Charli Collier chats with NCAA.com's Jenny Fischer. The sophomore averaged 13.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game during the 2019-20 season. Collier was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Here are some highlights from the interview.
- Collier discusses the Longhorns' 69-64 upset over then-No. 1 Stanford on Dec. 22, which was the program's first win against an AP No. 1 team since 2004
- She uses FaceTime everyday to keep in touch with her teammates
- The Texas native is currently binge-watching "The Blacklist" on Netflix