COLUMBUS, Ohio Among the graduates receiving degrees at The Ohio State University’s 2008 Autumn Commencement in the Jerome Schottenstein Center Sunday were 38 current and former Ohio State student-athletes.
Among the recipients were WNBA star and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Katie Smith, Major League Lacrosse rookie and former men’s lacrosse captain Kevin Buchanan, 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year Xavier Balc (men’s soccer) and three-time First Team All-American Yesenia Luces (field hockey). In addition, former women’s soccer all-Big Ten standout Lara Dickenmann earned her degree in international business.
Smith, a native of Logan, Ohio, will graduate from the personal study program. She won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing when the United States women’s basketball team went 8-0. Smith was also named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 WNBA Finals, averaging more than 20 points per game. Smith holds eight Ohio State career records and is a seven-time WNBA All-Star. She is the all-time leading scorer in the history of U.S. women’s professional basketball with more than 6,600 points.
All-Big Ten and Ohio State scholar-athlete, Buchanan was drafted fifth overall in the Major League Collegiate Draft, the highest draft pick in Ohio State history. After his collegiate career, he played for the Los Angeles Riptide in his first season. Buchanan helped lead the Buckeyes to a share of the GWLL regular-season title and make its first appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2008. He holds the second all-time scoring record at Ohio State. He will graduate with a degree in health sciences.
Balc will graduate with a degree in communication. He was the 10th player in Buckeye men’s soccer history drafted by Major League Soccer. Balc set an Ohio State record with 14 assists in 2007. He is the all-time assist leader with 35 in his four year career. He ranks third all-time at Ohio State in points with 81 from 23 goals and 35 assists.
Luces will receive a degree in hospitality management. She is a three-time First Team All-American and Ohio State’s only two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.
A complete list of graduates is available in the PDF link above.