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Nick Haywood is still in the spotlight — he's Mr. Xavier

Nick Haywood

Nick Haywood
     November 21, 2013

     NEW ORLEANS — Nick Haywood will have a prominent role on the basketball court at the Convocation Center on Saturday afternoon, representing Xavier University of Louisiana again. Bright lights, lots of applause and cheering. You'll hear his name called on the public-address system, but you won't see his name in the final game statistics.
     Haywood, a fifth-year senior from Monroe, La., who completed his two years of eligibility with the Gold Rush last March, has moved on to a different role. Earlier this semester, he was selected as Mr. Xavier for the 2013-14 academic year, and as a result he has a significant part in this week's alumni homecoming activities.
     The idea was his from the start.
     "I wanted to be more involved with the school for my final year," Haywood said. "Basketball players aren't just basketball players. They can get involved in school and campus life."
     To become Mr. Xavier, Haywood was required to step forward and compete
one more time. He beat out three others for the title at a pageant in September, telling a three-judge panel why he wanted the title and what he could to do to help Xavier. The pageant included a talent competition, and Haywood recited a poem he composed. His poem compared life to a TV remote.
     "You know . . . pause, play, rewind," Haywood said.
     Audience response factored into the selection, and Gold Rush players didn't let Haywood down. "They were making a lot of noise for me," he said.
     Since becoming Mr. Xavier, Haywood has been part of the student planning team for homecoming week and its numerous events. But his contributions will extend past this weekend. Haywood also has been involved in planning for a couple of pre-Christmas fundraisers — one to assist a local child-advocacy group, the other for the annual Toys For Tots campaign.
     "I just want to do whatever I can to help others," Haywood said. "I want to be somebody who represents Xavier well."
     Haywood's involvement with XU basketball has not ended yet, either. He's a student assistant coach with the Gold Rush this season, "going to as many practices and games as I can and helping the team any way I can," he said. "I'm tutoring one of our newcomers in one of the classes I had."
     Haywood played shooting guard in 64 games for Xavier the past two seasons after transferring from the University of Houston. He helped the Rush win 47 games, a pair of Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championships and two berths in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship. He scored in double figures for Xavier 19 times, made seven 3-pointers in a road game and a school-record 86.6 percent of his career free throws. He will receive his bachelor's degree in computer information systems in May.
     Athletes have not dominated the list of Miss Xavier and Mr. Xavier winners — women's basketball's Dawn Montgomery was Miss Xavier in 1991-92 — but Haywood hopes he has opened a door for others. He's even willing to provide a recommendation.
     "Gary Smith could be a good Mr. Xavier," Haywood said of XU's sophomore point guard. "He's a positive person, he has a good head on his shoulders, and he likes helping people out."


Homecoming basketball doubleheader: Xavier vs. Texas College
Saturday, November 23 at the Convocation Center . . . womenís game at noon, menís game at 2 p.m.


 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

 
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