Most Buckeye fans only recognize Brandon Fuss-Cheatham as the 6-foot-1 inch guard from Beaver Falls, Pa., but he also is a student working toward a degree in sports and leisure studies. When Fuss-Cheatham is not shooting hoops for the Buckeyes, he spends his time earning credit for his classes. For the next 10 weeks Fuss-Cheatham will spend one hour each week at a retirement home observing and teaching line dancing for his lifespan motor development course.
Every Friday afternoon Fuss-Cheatham visits the Gille Senior Center.
“The course I’m enrolled in wanted to give us a hands-on experience with observing different age groups’ motor skills,” Fuss-Cheatham said. “The class takes a look at the revolution of motor skills and how they change from the time we are born to the time we die.”
Fuss-Cheatham is enrolled in this course so he may have the opportunity to become a basketball coach when his days of dressing in scarlet and gray conclude.
“I have always wanted to coach basketball and classes, such as this one, allow me to better understand every aspect of an athlete,” Fuss-Cheatham said.
Fuss-Cheatham spends the first portion of the line-dancing session observing and comparing their ability with the skills of other age groups. At the end of the class he joins in to teach new dances and work one-on-one with the elderly.
“I really enjoy having the opportunity to work at the center,” Fuss-Cheatham said.
Fuss-Cheatham demonstrates his hand-eye coordination with his ball-handling skills for the Buckeyes, but at the retirement center he shows his talent through line dancing.
“As far as skills go they are doing the same things I do on the court each week, just at a different level.”
At the end of each session, Fuss-Cheatham does an interview with a different individual each week to ask questions that will allow him to better comprehend the revolution of motor skills. His job is to evaluate that person on their capabilities and compare them with the rest of the class. “I spend most of my time surrounded by college students, so it’s great to be in a different atmosphere,” Fuss-Cheatham said. “The individuals I interview have so many great stories that they share with me and I feel they have enabled me to gain a new perspective.”
Fuss-Cheatham also works with building back some of the skills that the elderly may have lost.
“The people I work with are so friendly and have a positive attitude about everything, which really makes my job easy,” Fuss-Cheatham said. “I think they feel good about having someone there to keep them company.”
Fuss-Cheatham’s love for basketball is what motivates him every day to be a better player on the court, but his experiences off the court allow him to bring strength and leadership to his team and will pave the way for his future in a coaching career.