Saint Mary’s soccer player Mubarak Haruna shares his experiences moving to the U.S. from Nigeria, and being a part of the Saint Mary’s community as a transfer student athlete.
By Mark Molz
A lifelong resident of Nigeria, Mubarak Haruna is now a Gael striving towards his goals each and every day.
Haruna is a Junior forward for the Gaels soccer team, transfering from Merritt Community College in Oakland a few miles up the road from Saint Mary’s. During his two years at Merritt, Haruna was able to excel on the soccer field, which ultimately led him to one of the best programs in the country here at Saint Mary’s. In a total of 20 games for the Thunderbirds he was able to find the back of the net 12 times, while adding five assists to his resume. In his sophomore campaign, Haruna was named to First Team All-Conference.
Haruna graduated from Merritt with an AA in Mathematics and is now at Saint Mary’s continuing to study Mathematics along with a concentration in Computer Science. Haruna has only been in the States for a total of three years and since arriving a short time ago he said he has enjoyed the experience, and although he misses his home country he stated, “I am here for a purpose. To gather knowledge and help those in my community back home.”
Haruna chose Saint Mary’s because of the welcoming feeling the school generated from the start, the world class education, and great athletic programs. Among other choices such as Yale, UC Santa Barbara, Berkeley, and Irvine, to name a few, he was attracted to Saint Mary’s by the home and small feel environment of the school.
"SMC, unlike any other school in the world, provides a basis in many things,” Haruna said. “I see this university more than a citadel of higher learning but an institution where students can grow in all aspects of life, becoming individuals who want to make a real impact in their communities and enrich the lives of people in those communities and the world at large."
Haruna has very much enjoyed his time as a student athlete in his first year with the Gaels. Although soccer has been a lot more challenging moving from a Community College to a Division 1 he has loved the environment that Saint Mary’s has produced. Haruna has appreciated the work ethic of his teammates, the winning mentality the coaching staff possesses, and the willingness everyone around him has to help him reach his goals.
Although his first year as a Gael has been interrupted with COVID-19 he is thankful for the school and their precautions in order to keep everyone safe. The team has had to practice in pods and participate in non-contact training during the fall in order to ensure they would have a season, which already had been pushed back once to this Spring.
Along with being a Student-Athlete, Haruna is a member of the Black Student Union, Muslim Student Association, and is a student Advancement Ambassador here at Saint Mary’s. Haruna finds it extremely important to participate in organizations outside of his athletic focus. He has been able to build connections and interact with individuals outside of the team who share the same ideals and values he holds.
He enjoys being a member of the BSU and appreciates the thriving culture of the organization at Saint Mary’s.. He enjoys being a member of the Muslim Student Associaiton becasue it gives him the opportunity to interact with the small Muslim population on campus. And he is proud to be a student ambassador because it is a great experience that allows him to network and represent this amazing school to raise scholarship money for other students.
Although he has enjoyed his short time here, and has come more accustomed to the culture and diversity of the different places he has seen, he still misses his family, friends, food, and culture of his country. Being far away from home is a difficult task, especially given the time we are in, but Haruna knows it is all worth it in the end in order to raise another WCC trophy like the team has in the past.
Special thanks to Mubarak Haruna for his participation in this article. To learn more about Haruna and the Saint Mary’s mens’ soccer team follow the link below:
By Mark Molz
Tom Brady did it, again.
With his seventh Super Bowl win on Sunday, February 7th, Tom Brady has officially solidified himself as the Greatest Quarterback of All Time. In a game where superstar Patrick Mahomes was leading what seemed to be the invisible Kansas City Chiefs team, Brady led his first year Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Brady not only beat Mahomes for the second time in the playoffs, with the first one being in the AFC Championship game back in 2019, he took home the Super Bowl MVP giving him his fifth total MVP award in the biggest game of the year, a record that will most likely never be broken. Brady finished the game with a total of 201 yards on 21/29 passing and three touchdown passes.
Mahomes on the other hand finished the game with a stat line very few individuals were expecting. He finished with a total of two interceptions, zero passing touchdowns, and a mere 270 yards. Mahomes was scrambling all night trying to make throws backwards, his body parallel to the ground as he released it, and with Bucs defenders running full steam at him not allowing him to create anything special, as he normally does.
With Brady beating Mahomes many people have deemed the GOAT debate out of reach. Although Mahomes is only 25 years-old and has already appeared in two Super Bowls, while winning one of them, his one to Brady’s Seven seems all too little.
With a win against Brady many would have dubbed this game as the passing of the torch from one old great to a new young one headed towards the mountain top. Now it feels as if Mahomes will be living in the shadow of Brady for his entire career, not unless, of course, he reaches the unthinkable eight Super Bowls.
To put in perspective at just how impressive Brady’s tenth Super Bowl appearance and seventh win is, here are some facts (if you haven’t already heard them):
So what’s next for Timeless Tom?
Although Brady has reached the pinnacle of success time and time again he doesn’t seem to want to step away just yet. At age 43 Brady seems to be on an unprecedented rate of success that will only continue to grow in the future. In his post game interview Brady stated, “We’re coming back. You already know that.”
You would think someone who has more Super Bowl wins than any other franchise in the history of the
sport would step away from the game while he has seemed to accomplish everything, but Tom isn’t ready yet. With aspirations to play past his 45th birthday, we could see him dominating the NFC for years to come.
Mahomes will be waiting for the day he can run the league all by himself, Rodgers is praying he can win more NFC championships than Brady, and every other team in the NFL is simply waiting for the day Brady decides to hang them up. For now we can only appreciate the greatness of Tom and the dominance he brings to the league.
For more information regarding the research of this article please visit the links below.
Madison Sciba '24,