The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Bates' Eli Frater, a men's basketball student-athlete who also plays the piano.
Elijah Frater, Bates College
Senior, Men's Basketball
Brooklyn, N.Y./Kimball Union Academy
Why did you choose to attend Bates?
I chose to attend Bates because I thought it was a good fit for me. My senior year of high school I attended Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, so visiting Bates was easy. I was already familiar with the Northeast and New England. When I visited Bates I stayed with two players on the men's basketball team and went to classes and practice with them. I enjoyed being on the campus and I liked the community atmosphere since both Kimball Union and Trevor Day School (where I spent most of high school) are both small, private schools.
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
I chose to be a Division III student-athlete because I wanted the challenge of rigorous academics as well as a difficult conference schedule. Being a student-athlete in the NESCAC is far from easy - we are taking challenging classes and have games every Friday and Saturday. You have to be determined to succeed academically while also being focused on the practice or game that follows.
What is your dream job/career? Why?
My dream job is to be either a president or general manager of an NBA team. Since I was young, I have always wanted to be associated with the NBA. Growing up playing basketball I always wanted to play in the NBA, however, once I realized this dream was no longer feasible, I looked for other options that would allow me to be involved with professional basketball.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
On campus, I am the Residence Coordinator Community Leader, which means I am the head Residence Coordinator (RC) overseeing all RCs located in dorms across campus. Additionally, I still work remotely for a startup company in New York City called HYPR, and work with some individuals on an app that will be released soon, called Famer.
What has been the greatest part of your college experience so far?
The greatest part of my college experience so far has been the opportunity to attend such a prestigious institution and receive a great degree while also being blessed with the opportunity to play basketball with teammates I love being around.
What are three top things on your bucket list?
1. Travel to Africa
2. Go skydiving
3. Meet Jay-Z
What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
Religion and Visual Culture has been my favorite class outside of my major because it explores the comparison and intersection of hip-hop culture and music with religion.
Who is your favorite professor? Why?
Susan Stark - she is brilliant! The way she teaches is effortless and makes the learning process enjoyable. She is a professor in the philosophy department.
What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
I have done a number of internships and projects with different companies and individuals. The main thing I have learned is to always maintain relationships. You always need support in life.
What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
The most interesting part of my major has been the opportunity to write my senior thesis about a topic which I am interested in within politics. It was a project in which I could dive deeper into a theory I had. Doing the senior thesis has provided me with the time and space to pursue something I was interested in.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
Personality management. Being a student-athlete at a small, liberal arts college, you come in close contact with and communicate with a variety of people. This has helped me learn how to manage personalities and how to tailor certain needs to certain people.
What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
Don’t give up and keep fighting. I know it may be hard right now but the light at the end of the tunnel is quickly approaching. Take in every experience and never take them for granted.
What is your favorite place on your campus and why?
My favorite place on campus besides Alumni Gym and my room is the Olin Arts Center. I enjoy playing the piano so I spend some time there whenever I get a chance to.
Who has been the most influential person on you during your time in college so far? Why?
My mother! She has always been there for me, helping me out every step of the way and always providing me with wisdom and support.