A sports superhero in the making

Volleyball player Daniel You, Top 8 Academic All-Canadian

- October 28, 2011

Daniel You in action on the volleyball court. (Nick Pearce photo)
Daniel You in action on the volleyball court. (Nick Pearce photo)

When Daniel You was in kindergarten, his teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer: a superhero.

He may not have developed superpowers (yet), but you could say that at Dalhousie, some elements of his kindergarten dream are becoming reality.

Mr. You came to Dal four years ago from Calgary, after being recruited for the Dal Tigers by head coach Dan Ota. Volleyball wasn't even on Mr. You’s radar until a friend encouraged him to try out for the school volleyball team. Now a middle blocker for the men's volleyball squad, he was recently named one of the Desjardins Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2010-11 season.

Trading in capes for lab coats

When Mr. You arrived at Dal, he still wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do academically.  A second-year biology course sparked his interest and he began to pursue full time studies in the field. Now in his fourth year, he will be graduating in the spring with plans to apply to medical school in the near future.

“I see doctors as real superheroes with all the work they do and the people they help,” says Mr. You.

Hoping to get a head start on helping others, Mr. You is also actively involved in the healthy lifestyle community, both in Halifax and in Calgary. He helps coach the Dal Volleyball Club and 16U Elite West team, and spends time with the Kidsport program. He also volunteers at the IWK Orthopaedic Clinic and the Calgary Alex Community Health Centre, while still finding time to serve as co-president of Dalhousie’s Varsity Council.

Down-to-earth superhero

His desire to volunteer extends from his commitment to a healthy lifestyle and his interest in biology. In the process, he has had a really unique learning experience, stating that he has, “learned skills that cannot be acquired in a classroom.”

When asked what particular volunteer experience has inspired him, Mr. You says that it was working with, and learning from, senior citizens. “The wisdom and knowledge that these people have is amazing,” he adds.

Mr. You’s volunteer work in different environments within the healthcare sphere has also served as a trial run for medical school. His fascination with the human body, both as an athlete and a biology student, prompted his decision to pursue a medical career.

“I like working with a team and as a team.” says Mr. You. “Be it volleyball or something else, I just like that mindset. When you think about it,” he adds, “a hospital staff is one giant team, doctors, nurses, technicians. Everyone must work together to make sure everything functions smoothly.”

As of right now Mr. You is looking at a general medical program, possibly specializing later on. “Right now, I just need to know if I’ll get in, the rest will come after,” he jokes. Until then, Mr. You is staying focused on his athletic pursuits and maintaining his 4.26 GPA here at Dal, proving he’s a superstar on the court and in the classroom, as well as a superhero in the community.

Check out Daniel You’s blog, Bump, set, spike with ‘YOU’.


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