Trading cleats for the classroom

Katie Brickman
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Miles Hunter headed to med school in Calgary

Miles Hunter has had to make a lot of sacrifices to reach his goals.

Miles Hunter, right, bangs helmets with Moose Jaw Miller Express teammate Andrew Solomon after a home run earlier this season. Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie

His main objective has always been to become a doctor, which led to one final sacrifice on Saturday night.

The outfielder for the Moose Jaw Miller Express had to say some difficult goodbyes at Ross Wells Park after the Express held on for 10-9 victory.

That win could possibly be Hunter’s last competitive baseball game.

“It is unfortunate because I don’t want to leave, especially with how things are going,” Hunter told the Times-Herald a couple weeks ago. “This is my senior year, so after I play out as much as I can here, it is to the slo-pitch and men’s leagues, which is a tough pill for me to swallow.”

Hunter was accepted in medical school at the University of Calgary (U of C) and had to leave the team to get things taken care of, including four rounds of immunizations that have to be done in Alberta.

The Calgary native will be moving into an apartment across from the hospital and is preparing for school to take over his life for the next three years.

“It is something ever since I was in high school, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” said Hunter. “I am lucky that I like school. Not a lot of people do, especially athletes who have a lot of time devoted to things outside of school.”

Hunter has dedicated a lot of time to his academics and at the diamond.

That juggling wasn’t always easy either for the 21-year-old.

“It is tough. You have to make some sacrifices along the way. You can’t go to every social outing. You have to be really disciplined when you go to bed,” he explained. “There are times when it is a struggle, but you surround yourself with the right people and people who are really driven.”

Last summer, he spent quite a bit of time in the Moose Jaw Library hitting the books as he prepared for the MCAT exam.

“Last year when I came here, I wrote my MCAT exam and I still felt not very well acquainted to the whole med school system — I still haven’t even applied yet. I didn’t know what that whole process was like,” he said. “Next thing I knew, 365 days later, I’m in. I never thought on my first try that it would come true. It is crazy, but really exciting.”

He applied to the University of Alberta (U of A) in Edmonton and to the University of Calgary. He found out in the middle of May — two weeks before coming to the Express — that he had been accepted into the U of A and waitlisted at the U of C.

“In my heart, I wanted to come here. There were a lot of moving parts,” said Hunter. “The U of A didn’t start until September, so I thought, great, I can come out for the whole summer if I end up in Edmonton. But, I was still on the waitlist at U of C and their stipulation was that they start the week of July 21. I knew if I got in off this waitlist, it would cut things short.”

Two weeks into the season, Hunter was at the gym and checked his phone while on the exercise bike. It was the email he was hoping for — he got in off the waitlist at U of C.

“It was an amazing feeling,” he said. “It was my top choice of school — not just from an academic standpoint, but Calgary is my home.”

When Hunter was 13 years old, he broke his tibia and fibula playing baseball. That experience pushed him in the direction of orthopedics.

“I always thought that working with bones and repair has always been interesting to me. That definitely sparked my interest, for sure,” he said.

Although his teammates have been giving Hunter a hard time about leaving, they have all been supportive of him as well.

As much as Hunter understands that Saturday could have been his last game, he does have his sights set for some road games.

“I am looking at the schedule and know we play in Edmonton and Med Hat. I would love to just get on the bench and be with the guys,” he said. “Who knows, maybe we get into the playoffs and if we get some time off school and I can sneak out to Moose Jaw a little bit … I can’t set anything in stone, but it is in the back of my mind.”

The program at the U of C goes year-round for three years with two week breaks at Christmas and in the summer.

“It is intense,” said Hunter. “I am trying to enjoy every last second of being a kid still.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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