By: Angela Caraway-Carlton
Sports at Florida Memorial University in Miami.
Aspiring athletes have their pick of year-round sports at Florida Memorial University (FMU). The school is located in Miami Gardens, near the New Miami Stadium, where it’s considered “ Lion Country.”
The athletic teams at the historically black, private university are known as the “ Lions,” and FMU is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I level, largely competing in The Sun Conference.
While the university does not have a football program, they offer 10 varsity sports for almost every type of athlete. Young men can participate in baseball, basketball, cross country, track and field, and soccer; while young women can compete in basketball, cross country, track and field, soccer and volleyball. Athletes and fans can be seen proudly decked out in the school’s colors of royal blue, orange and white.
“ Under the leadership of Robert Smith, Florida Memorial is raising the bar in athletics,” says Artis Maddox, FMU’s assistant athletic director. “ We are committed to excellence in athletics, and this means we can expect tremendous growth in all facets of intercollegiate athletics.”
In 2016, FMU unveiled a new on-campus arena called the Florida Memorial Wellness Center where both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s volleyball team practice and compete. The track and field team, along with the soccer teams, practice in Miramar. The baseball team plays their home games on campus at Harry T. Moore Field.
Men’s basketball is king at FMU, with a packed house at every game. The Lions have won nine conference championships, and while the last victory was in 2007, the team is always very competitive in conference games. The women’s basketball program shines just as bright — the Lady Lions have won eight Sun Conference Championships.
Track and Field
While basketball may take center court at the university, the Lions’ track and field program is sprinting toward greatness too. FMU boasts 13 NAIA National Champions in track and field.“ We are very proud of our track and field team, which sets the standard for all of our teams,” says Artis Maddox, FMU’s assistant athletic director.“ The team has produced an All-American runner every year for the past 20 years.”
The athletic program has also produced several sports stars. Former FMU standout Jeffrey Henderson, who attended the university from 2010-2011, finished first in the U.S. Olympic Trials Men's Long Jump and represented the USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
While basketball and track and field may be the most recognized sports oncampus, the FMU volleyball, baseball and soccer teams are forces to be reckoned with in The Sun Conference. The men’s soccer team, which only recently kicked off in 2009, snagged their first Sun Conference title in 2012.
Succeeding in Athletics and Academics
While sports are a top priority on the college campus, the FMU Department of Athletics focuses on pushing their students to succeed in both athletics and academics. During the 2015-2016 academic year, FMU placed more than 35 student-athletes on The Sun Conference Honor Roll and seven of their ten teams boast a GPA of 3.3 or better.
“ We believe that excellence in academics and athletics are mutual goals,” says Robert Smith, Florida Memorial University Director. “ At Florida Memorial, we expect that our students will excel in their classrooms while competing on winning teams. Our mission is to prepare student-athletes to be leaders in our global society.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit FMUAthletics.com.
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