Tamara Statman graduated from the University of Arizona in May 2019 as a four-year letter winner for the Arizona Softball team. And we were so excited to interview this accomplished Wildcat.
Former Arizona Softball slugger Tamara Statman graduated from the University in 2019, and not only was Tamara a great softball player, but she truly epitomized the term student athlete. When she wasn’t tearing it up on the diamond, she was tearing it up in the classroom, being honored as an Academic All-American (2019), the first UA athlete to do this since 2010. She was also a 1st-Team Pac-12 All-Academic honoree twice.
She has been busy since graduation, so we checked in on her to see what she’s been up to!
ZZ) What one or two moments will you never forget from your time playing softball for the University of Arizona?
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TS) One moment that I certainly won’t forget would be winning the PAC-12 Championship on UCLA’s field in 2017 and then being at the World Series in 2019 in OKC. Both moments felt like a true testament to all the hard work that we put in all year.
ZZ) How has sports changed your life?
TS) I have played sports my whole life. I am a third degree black belt in Taekwondo and I started doing that when I was four years old. I also am an avid golfer and was on my high school golf team. There was never a time where I was not active and not playing sports. So in reality, sports molded me into who I am today and has given me amazing experiences and opportunities to meet people.
ZZ) You played on some very skilled and fun teams who won a lot of games, how did that feel and what did you learn from that experience?
TS) I did play with some of the most impressive players in the game: All-Americans, Olympians, Professional softball players, you name it. Even though all the years mesh together for me, I loved learning from people who just love the game of softball. The ladies that I played with are so passionate about the game and were always willing to do extra. This would often extend beyond softball and how people are personally. They would do something for you at the drop of a hat and I’m glad to have played with these ladies and still be friends with them today.
ZZ) We hear you have a new crown in wardrobe, tell us about your experience and what it means to you to be crowned Miss Tucson Del Sol and what are your duties?
TS) Yes! I was crowned Miss Tucson Del Sol 2020 in January which is apart of the Miss America Organization. My platform is Skin Cancer Prevention: Educate, Facilitate, and Legislate to bring awareness of the dangers of skin cancer and tanning beds. Before COVID-19, I was out in the community at events as well as educating those on skin cancer prevention. I will be competing for the title of Miss Arizona in August, so if anyone wants to take out an ad space for the program booklet or donate to the Children’s Miracle Network do not hesitate to contact me.
ZZ) What does it feel like to hit a home run? Do you know the minute you hit the ball it’s out of the park?
TS) Coach would always say that home runs are line drives that go really far (and are a bit elevated). Usually, I did not know that most of my home runs went out of the park until after I touched first base. There have been a few, though, that felt gone off the bat which is a fabulous feeling.
ZZ) What are you up to post graduation?
TS) Post graduation, I have been working at Wildcats1290 as a board operator, the Tucson Unified School District as a substitute teacher, and at Centerfield Baseball & Softball Academy where I would give lessons. Lately, I have also been working on a book for potential incoming student-athletes if anyone wants to read it.
ZZ) How did Martial Arts help you in life and in being a D1 Athlete?
TS) Taekwondo taught me core fundamentals that I still remember today: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit. There are a lot of tough challenges that are in your way when you play D1 athletics, but if you take everything one challenge at a time it becomes more manageable.
ZZ) We were in a long conversation with a fan and Shawn Poindexter about student athlete’s getting paid and their benefits, what would you like to share about your experience as a female student athlete and how TITLE IX helped you (if at all) and do you think it should be amended if at all? If so, what would you change?
TS) I have started to become more active on Twitter (@Tstatman) now that I am a has-been student-athlete. Title IX has made great lengths to help make women’s sports equitable across the board (have you seen the clothing budget and our beautiful stadium?) especially at the universities where 17 sports are present.
Title IX doesn’t just cover excitability between the sexes, it also covers sexual harassment. As student-athletes (and I think all students had to do it) we were required to do Title IX training on sexual harassment which is extremely important. The more that we are able to be educated and have those uncomfortable conversations, the better.
While not Title IX related, the UofA’s athletic department has really thrived in helping make these uncomfortable conversations easier, they started with having an assembly with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) program, which helps battle racial discrimination. They also have had the DAM Worth It Campaign visit campus which opens up the talk of mental health among athletes.
ZZ) Any last thoughts for the current Arizona Softball team? What wisdom would you give them?
TS) I am so glad that this team gets another year together. I cannot wait to see what kind of magic is made next year. The wisdom I would give is just enjoy the ride. They know what season is like, but they will miss parts of it when they are done.
ZZ) What do you want to be remembered for in life and at the UofA?
TS) I want to be remembered at UofA for being clutch when we needed it, and also for being involved in so much in college. I hope I was able to be an example to other girls that you can explore your other interests and hobbies while in college and playing a sport. I just want people to remember not what I said (because I probably said weird things), but how I made them feel when they would laugh at me.
We want to thank Tamara for her time and getting to know the new, Miss Tucson Del Sol! As always, Bear Down, Arizona!