January 4, 2010
Perseverance leads Blackim to being named January Student of the Month
Having gone through heart surgery at the age of 14 and knee surgery while
a sophomore in high school, Cowley College sophomore Jamie Blackim
has worked hard to be a productive student and athlete.
Blackim, daughter of Kathy and Brad Blackim, was recognized for her hard work by being named Cowley College’s January Student of the Month.
“It’s exciting to be recognized on campus as someone that works hard,” Blackim said.
Blackim, who was involved in several activities while a student at Broken Arrow (OK) High School, starred on the tennis court. Blackim finished fourth in singles at the Class 5A State Tennis Tournament as a senior.
Cowley head tennis coach Josh Cobble, who also played tennis at Cowley, learned of Blackim through former teammate Dean Clower. Clower’s father, Dean Clower Sr., is the head tennis pro at Indian Springs Country Club, to which Blackim was a member.
Cobble was the first coach to recruit Blackim to play tennis collegiately. Although she was initially hesitant about coming to Cowley, Blackim made a visit to the school and decided it was the right place for her.
“The school seemed very community oriented and coach Cobble was really helpful,” Blackim said. “I am definitely glad I came here. I joke with Tom (Saia) all the time that he needs to make Cowley a four-year school because I would love to stay here.”
As a freshman at Cowley, Blackim was the Region VI champion at No. 3 singles and teamed with Jessica Montemayor to win the Region VI crown at No. 1 doubles. Her efforts helped the Lady Tiger tennis team win the Region VI title and finish eighth at the national tournament.
“We knew coming in she would make a big impact on us and she has done that,” Cobble said. “No matter what you ask her to do she is willing to do it and go above and beyond it.”
Blackim comes from an athletic family as her mother, Kathy, played tennis at Hutchinson Community College and Washburn University, and her father, Brad, played basketball at Washburn. Her older sister, Jennie, is a current member of the tennis team at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
She has another sister, Jodie 16, that is a student at Broken Arrow High School. Grandparents are, Don and Dorothy Gordon of Wichita, and Annie and David Blackim (deceased) of Hutchinson.
Along with tennis, Blackim is involved in FCA/CCF, PAWS, and is a Cowley Tutor. She also served as a Cowley Captain during new student orientation and is a resident assistant in Docking Dormitory, She will graduate from Cowley with an Associate of Science degree and is considering majoring in sports medicine or athletic training at her next school of choice.
Blackim, who was born with a heart disease, spent more than her fair share of time in hospitals while growing up. Having seen how helpful her nurses and doctors were while dealing with her heart disorder, and also during her knee surgery, which she had performed after tearing her ACL and MCL during her sophomore basketball season, she decided she would like to some day give back.
“Helping people is something I have always wanted to do,” Blackim said.
Being a competitive person by nature, Blackim has worked hard to overcome the adversity she has faced, while striving to do well on the tennis court and in the classroom.
Blackim enjoys being so involved in campus life, while still able to maintain a 3.38 grade point average. In her free time, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends in the dorm.
As for her sophomore tennis season, Blackim is one of seven returning players from last year’s squad, which placed eighth at nationals.
“We are all gunning for a national title,” Blackim said. “I think if we keep working hard and maintain our confidence we could finish in the top-three.”
Cobble expects big things from Blackim this year and will miss her when her playing days at Cowley are over.
“The sky is the limit for her,” Cobble said. “She is a great person to look up to and will be successful no matter where she plays in our lineup.”
Blackim also had high praise for her coach.
“Josh (Cobble) has been a driving force in my life,” Blackim said. “We respect him as our coach, but we also know we can talk to him about anything. He can relate to what we are going through because he went to school here.”
After Cowley, Blackim plans to transfer to a four-year institution to continue playing tennis while working toward her degree.