Catherine Lass ’13 traveled to Hungary this summer as an athletic trainer with the USA Basketball program, taking part in the experience as the Under 19 women’s team defended its title and took home the 2021 FIBA World Cup.
Lass, associate athletic trainer for women’s basketball at Duke University, is a former senior athletic trainer for the Seton Hall Pirates.
“I took great pride and passion representing the USA,” Lass says.
As the governing body for basketball in the United States, USA Basketball fields national teams to compete in international competitions sponsored by FIBA, the International Basketball Federation. Lass was asked to join the 2021 games held in August after she worked with professional athletes during two week-long camps.
“Spending a great deal of time building relationships with phenomenal people surrounding me is priceless within itself,” she says. “Experiencing different cultures during my travel was a joy as well. Ending the adventure with a gold medal and finalizing the trip with such amazing people really made the entire experience worth it.”
Before joining the athletic medicine staff at Duke in 2019, Lass spent eight years at Seton Hall as an assistant and then senior athletic trainer. She also taught graduate-level courses as an associate professor, and now is active on the athletic training lecture circuit. She hopes to return to the classroom someday, noting that “Teaching makes you great at what you do as a clinician.”
During her time in the master’s program for athletic training in Seton Hall’s School of Health and Medical Sciences, Lass trained at Roxbury High School and Princeton University, and credits those clinical rotations with her success.
“The classroom is only going to take you so far,” says Lass. “The more time you put your hands on people and the more time you find yourself in a clinic, that’s how you’re going to be great.”
To students pursuing a career in athletic training, Lass stresses the importance of networking, working hard and taking advantage of the opportunities presented.
Emphasizing the importance of working beyond expectations, she says: “Be hungry, be humble and know that your clinical experience is going to set you up for what your first job is going to be.”
By Niyala Shaw