"T" Statman not afraid to be more than an athlete while at Arizona

021817_sliu_0368
Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics and Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics | The Daily Wildcat February 19, 2017. Sophomore designated player Tamara Statman (88) during the Wildcats 12-2 win over the Boston College Eagles at the Wildcat Invitational. Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ.

As Tamara Statman kicks off her radio show, you wouldn’t be able to tell that she’s an Arizona athlete. Instead, if you’re up at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, you can catch Statman as the host of “T-Time,” a weekly variety show featuring politics, sports and whatever else the designated player for the No. 4-ranked softball team in the country deems worthy of discussion.

“I’ve always wanted to have a lot of politics [on the show] because it very important, and I don’t know if KAMP has any other political shows. So I wanted whoever is listening in to be able to hear a different voice than what they normally get,” Statman said.

The mood of the show fully mirrors Statman’s personality: quirky, full of inside jokes and intriguing. For an hour once a week, “T-Time” offers a brief window into the life of a college athlete who has made major contributions time and time again this season.

It also shows her profound love of the political world.

MORE FROM THE DAILY WILDCAT

“When you’re in sixth grade and everyone thinks you’re weird because you talk about politics, you grow up that way,” Statman said. “But now in college it’s totally different because they have clubs for that and people are super passion about it.”

The Scottsdale native has always been passionate and interested in politics.

“Since I was a kid, we’ve been telling people I’m going to run for president in 2044,” Statman said.

This curiosity of the bureaucratic world only increased in 2008, when her parents’ company, “Everyone Loves Buttons”, caught their big break in creating the promotional buttons for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Nearly 10 years later, that same kid, who’s parents made promotional buttons in one of the most historical elections in U.S. history, now finds herself commenting on the state of politics weekly through her show on KAMP.

A career in political commentary is a profession the sophomore can definitely picture herself in.

“I don’t know if I would want to be involved with [politics] directly, but I would love to commentate on it and pick apart both sides, playing devil’s advocate,” Statman said. “Everything seems very left or right. I like to stick in the middle and question both sides.”

Whether she does run for president or not in the next 27 years, it would be of little surprise to her parents if their daughter found herself in the realm of politics.

“I could see her there,” her father David Statman said. “She has been surrounded by politics her whole life, with the work we do here [at the button company]. She has met a lot of the top-tier political people, such as John McCain, and it’s had an impact on her.”

Her involvement with KAMP was rooted out of a previous encounter with the broadcasting world.

“I was always interested in TV and radio shows, because I did that in middle school but I didn’t have that in high school,” Statman said. “So I told myself I was going to do stuff in college that I wasn’t able to do in high school.”

The inability to participate and experience her broadcast interests in high school is a direct effect of why she now freely expresses her passions and desires as a student in Tucson.

“I think its really important. People can really get stuck in that athlete box,” Statman said. “I remember being told at freshman orientation to go out and meet people in your classes and do things that have nothing to do with athletes. So I went out and joined a bunch of clubs.”

Statman took that message at orientation to heart. Venturing high and low, joining clubs such the Swing Dance, Allegiance and community clubs at the UA.

A similar message to what she heard at orientation is echoed by her hall of fame softball coach Mike Candrea.

“Coach always says you need a balance,” Statman said. “You need something that gives you an identity.”

Having a coach who realizes that his team is full of students as well as athletes is a major reason why the second-year player has immersed herself so deep in college life.

Her desire to surround herself with different kinds of people who don’t share the same place on the political spectrum as her, or who have lived and experienced a completely different life than she has, speaks to the personality of Statman.

In a society where too often people surround themselves with those who see eye-to-eye, an important utility player on one of the winningest programs at the UA has traveled far outside of the athlete bubble.

Statman serves as a publicity director for Tucson’s Swing Dance club, and you can catch her arguing with co-host John Dalton over what is and what isn’t fake news on Tuesday mornings.

“Things happen that you would never expect to happen,” Statman said. “Coming to college and experiencing all the different types of people and becoming more educated in classes, it’s really cool to see all this diversity come together. Going to the University of Arizona, we are lucky things are the way they are and it is open for discuss between people.”

A simple conversation with “T” Statman will reveal a sophomore who has stepped well outside of the the athlete bubble, defining herself not by her batting average or OPS but rather her life as a student at the UA.


Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter



Share this article