CHICAGO (CBS) — Madeline Crowell is not your typical college freshman. Around classes, she’s working double duty as a guard on the DePaul Blue Demons basketball team as well as serving in the U.S. Army.
“A lot of times I have thought, “what am I getting myself into?” Especially as a freshman, but my academics always comes first.. before basketball and ROTC. I do what I love. It’s a dream come true,” says Maddie Crowell, DePaul basketball guard.
Maddie’s oath enlistment to the Army was special. It was at center court before a game in January. She is already ahead of schedule taking on an ROTC leadership role.
“Not only motivates herself, but it rubs off on her peers with some of her leadership, so for us it’s ideal,” says Sgt. 1st Class Marc Westenbarger.
“To do both is not easy. I’m sure when she gets over to her real day job in the Army, she will be even better in the Army than what she does with us and she is magnificent with us,” says Doug Bruno, DePaul basketball coach.
Maddie wakes up at 5 a.m., has her ROTC workouts and leadership labs, then DePaul classes start at 8:30am. (followed by) basketball practice in the afternoon mixed in with games, road trips and hours of watching film.
Teammates have been really supportive. At first, I was a bit worried about how receptive they would be of me coming into the locker room in uniform, but they love it” adds Maddie Crowell.
Serving her country runs through her blood. Along with her father, her grandfather is a World War II veteran and POW. She also has 2 uncles who were in Doctors in the Army.
“My dad is a bio-chemical engineer for the Army. He’s a civilian and remember since I was little going on base with him to see the soldiers. My main goal is to go into the medical core. I would like to become a doctor. I really want to go help people and save a life if I can,” says Maddie Crowell.
Maddie is majoring in health sciences at DePaul and when she graduates, she will be a second lieutenant and will have four years of Army service, then onto medical school.