What do these names have in common?  Al Leiter, Todd Frazier, Keith Elias and Frankie Edgar.  I’m sure many of you would answer that they are all former Ocean County high school athletes who went on to have professional careers in baseball, football and MMA. That answer would be correct but another thing they have in common is that they will all appear on stage at the Grunin Center for the Arts on Wednesday, March 6th.  I will have the honor of hosting a panel discussion on Aspirations of a Professional Athlete as part of the Blauvelt Speaker Series sponsored by the Ocean County College Foundation and funded in part by the generosity of the late Bradford Thomas and Eleanor G. Blauvelt and the Wintrode Family Foundation.

During my more than 40 year career in which local sports was always the centerpiece Leiter, Frazier, Elias and Edgar were among the most compelling and personable athletes I covered and when I was asked to put together a panel all four agreed to be part of it.  We’ll discuss the highs and lows of being a pro athlete and will take questions from the audience.

Here’s the important thing.  The event on Wednesday, March 6 is scheduled from 6-7:30pm and it’s FREE but you must register in advance. Simply visit: https://www.grunincenter.org/event/aspirations-of-a-professional-athlete/ and clock on “Get Tickets”

Certainly anyone who has an interest in pursuing a pro career should be interested in hearing from local legends who were at the top of their game for a period of time.  Their sports may be different but their pursuit of excellence is likely very similar.

attachment-Blauvelt Sports Panel March 2024 flyer

NFL pros from New Jersey 2023

There are more than 60 active pros with NJ roots, including four NFL quarterbacks born in the Garden State.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt, Joe Votruba