When he graduated from Park Tudor in 2013, Sycamore School alum Kevin Rex was Harvard-bound . His hard work in the classroom and on the baseball field has earned him the opportunity to both study and pitch for Harvard. We wanted to catch up with him to talk about his academic and athletic backgrounds. Rex, who started at Sycamore as a PS1 student, has many memories of his time at Sycamore.
Sycamore Magazine: First, how did Harvard find out about you as a student and baseball player? What was the recruiting process like for you?
Kevin Rex: Professional baseball scouts who had seen me play knew about my academic record and informed Harvard about me. We began communicating after the winter break of my junior year. Harvard and other schools flew out to watch me play in the spring for Park Tudor and then followed me on the weekends over the summer. They saw me play three times throughout the spring and summer, expressing more interest each time. After I went to a showcase in Long Island, they invited me to campus where I was offered a spot on the Harvard baseball team by the coaches. Three weeks later, I went back to Cambridge for an "official visit" and stayed with baseball players from Saturday to Monday. I decided after that trip that I wanted to go to Harvard.
Sycamore: You told me that you wanted to major in political science in college. What would you like to do with that degree?
KR: I do want to major in political science. The major is interesting to me because of the ideas surrounding it and the many routes such a major can be taken. I am interested in pursuing a career in politics after college and possibly graduate school. I would be interested in a career in business or economics as well.
Sycamore: How did Sycamore school prepare you for high school?
KR: The majority of my high school career has not been as challenging as the last few years at Sycamore. I'd like to think that is because I have improved as a student, but it is in part due to the rigor of Sycamore academics. It prepared me to excel both in objective and subjective assessments. Most of my peers struggled with synthesis of information and critical thinking until junior year, whereas Sycamore students practice those skills in the 5th grade.
Sycamore: Do you have some academic subjects you really like in high school?
KR: Favorite subjects in high school are history, ethics, philosophy, and other social studies.
Sycamore: Back to Sycamore- Did you have some favorite teachers here?
KR: Mr. Young was my favorite teacher. His class was interesting and challenged me to think about overarching themes and trends of history instead of solely memorizing dates and facts. Mr. Schuth was also a favorite of mine. His upbeat attitude always made class interesting, and the information I learned made high school science courses much easier. But it's difficult to choose a favorite teacher from so many who all loved their subject, and were enthusiastic.
Sycamore: Where does you baseball skill come from? How hard did you work at it?
KR: My love for baseball came from my Dad. He played when he was my age. I played with him from a young age on and picked up the game naturally. As I got older, however, I lost the physical advantages of size, strength, speed, and athleticism over my peers that I had enjoyed. I was forced to practice technique, skill, and physical training more than others to maintain my high level of performance. When high school started, I realized I needed to become a lot stronger and a lot faster if I wanted to be successful and earn an opportunity to play college baseball. I go six times a week to Dugan Sports Performance to prepare for my senior year and college baseball. In total, I dedicate at least an equal numbers of hours to baseball outside of the season as during.
Sycamore: Tell me about your family.
KR: My Dad grew up in a small town in northern Indiana. He worked in a factory to help pay the bills in high school and received the General Motors Scholarship to Harvard for undergrad. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Harvard in '76, then moved back to Indianapolis to attend IU Medical School. He's been a practicing Gastroenterologist for 27 years.
My mother's father was in the military so she moved around a lot, living everywhere from Minnesota to Germany. She went to high school in Shelbyville, then graduated Summa Cum Laude from Indiana University. She was a practicing nurse and lawyer but retired when I turned 4 years old.
I have five older siblings, all out of school. Russell is the youngest and lives in Muncie after attending Ball State. My sister Grace is an actress living in New York City. She also went to Ball State. Megan went to Indiana University and IU Med School and is a physician in Chicago. Lindsay went to Purdue and lives in Florida. Emilie went to University of Michigan and is now the Director of Sustainability for IU Bloomington.
Sycamore: What has been the highlight of your baseball career?
KR: Individually, being recruited by high level baseball programs and being named to 1st Team All-State last year. My favorite baseball moments, however, are with my teammates. The last two years we have made it the state semifinals in the postseason tournament. Getting to that point alongside teammates is more fulfilling than any individual accomplishment.