Jessica Horrocks, a 2022 graduating student of the Master of Athletic Training program, played a key role in the success of the Boise State Men’s Basketball program as a student assistant to the athletic trainer. In addition to her help within the basketball program, Horrocks is an outstanding student, a volunteer coach at local schools and the president of the Athletic Training Student Association.
The student assistant position included the opportunity to be mentored by the certified athletic trainer for the team, Adam Yetter. Horrocks earned the opportunity after going through the interviewing process and after receiving the position, she became a part of the men’s basketball team and consistently gathered hands-on experience. Horrocks mentioned that “Basketball requires a lot of individualized and specific treatment plans.” Horrocks helped manage these treatment plans for the team and worked with them nearly every day, whether it was for practice or a game. She really appreciates Yetter’s knowledge and positive attitude as it has reminded her to always bring optimism to her job. Along with this, the athletic trainers can have a long list of tasks, but Yetter was a role model in the way he approached his work, knowing that it must be done, and never stressing.
A large part of the job of an athletic trainer is keeping a positive, calm demeanor. This helps the athletes be comforted during the challenges that may arise from injuries during the season. Horrocks explained that an athletic trainer must get to know each of the athletes individually, so proper and personalized care can be administered. She appreciates the men’s basketball program for accepting her into her role and allowing her to learn. “Everyone showed respect to me as a person, athletic trainer, and a part of the team” said Horrocks.
The pinnacle of the season was when the men’s basketball team won a bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. This was a big moment for not only the university but also for the Men’s basketball program. Horrocks says that just as the players share the success of the team, the entire program personnel of men’s basketball worked together to get to the tournament. The investment of time and energy into the season paid off and all members of the program were proud of the success of the program. Horrocks remarked, “Everyone worked together and everyone was valued as a member of the family.”
Horrocks was able to travel with the team to Portland, Oregon to continue her duties as a student assistant athletic trainer during the tournament. She had not known she was making the trip, until just days before, and was surprised and excited about the opportunity. As a fan of basketball and a former collegiate basketball player herself, to be a part of the tournament was an amazing experience. She commented on the incredible atmosphere surrounding the tournament and the national attention drawn to each game. It was not only her first time seeing a collegiate playoff game, but she was actively participating as a student assistant athletic trainer.
Horrocks returned to Portland just a few weeks later, to attend the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association Meeting and Symposium. In her role as the president of the Athletic Training Student Association, she and her presidency helped organize many local fundraisers to allow 23 members to attend the conference. This was a large event, and because it was held virtually in 2021, it was Horrocks’s first time attending the event in person. She enjoyed the opportunity to network with many athletic trainers from different settings. In addition, Boise State won their third consecutive title for the annual “quiz bowl” that occurred at the event. “Overall it was a fantastic weekend filled with knowledge about how to get to the next level after graduation,” Horrocks said.
Horrocks grew up in the Boise area and then traveled to Brigham Young University- Hawaii for her bachelor’s degree. In middle school, she was asked to interview a person whose job interested them, and she had selected an athletic trainer due to her interest in sports and healthcare. It was after completing her own collegiate eligibility that she realized her passion for Athletic Training. Her consistent exposure to athletic trainers, her involvement as a two-sport athlete in basketball and cross country, along with her healthcare interest led her to seek out the athletic training program at Boise State.
Because of her love for athletics, she was seeking opportunities to stay involved and positively impact athletes after graduation. She discovered that “when your time as an athlete comes to an end, you can still continue to improve other athletes in the sports that they love.” Once she realized this, she decided to pursue Athletic Training. She received her baccalaureate in Exercise and Sports science with a Biomedical emphasis. She attributes her success at Brigham Young to her teachers who encouraged her to become an athletic trainer. After graduating, she decided to return to Boise to attend Boise State for her master’s degree and obtain her certification in athletic training.
Horrocks was immediately impressed with the Athletic training program at Boise State. “You are hands-on from day one,” said Horrocks. She enjoyed the balance between clinical work as well as time spent in lecture and is grateful for the variety of ways to learn. Within the program, she is finishing a research project focused on Bosu ball exercises that increase stability within female athletes. Horrocks had many teachers to thank for her success at Boise State, stating “master’s programs are never easy, but the professors I have worked with have made a life-long difference, especially Gen Ludwig, Dave Hammons, Phil Ford, and John McChesney.” Horrock’s appreciation for her teachers is well reciprocated, as she is a respected student within the program.
Outside of her education and working with university athletics, Horrocks finds time to remain involved within the Boise Community by being an assistant coach at Centennial High School and Lowell Scott Middle School. Her prior running experience gives her the ability to relate to the athletes, and her willingness to learn more about athletic training allows her to gain experience towards her future progression. She helps coach track and field as well as cross country at each of the schools she attended at a young age. Her favorite part of being a coach is watching kids believe in themselves; “Teaching a kid to believe in themselves through sports is a great lesson that can shape the rest of their lives. Sometimes all we need is for someone to believe in us because one day that will make us believe in ourselves”.
Horrocks maintains a humble personality for all that she has accomplished in her very young career. “I am excited to represent the Boise State program, they have prepared students to be ready for the fields and provide skills for moving forward”. She recently took the Board of Certification Athletic Trainer’s test and passed with flying colors. Now as a certified athletic trainer and having earned her master’s of athletic training, she is pursuing athletic training positions for Men’s collegiate basketball or the National Basketball Association.