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Alamia honored as All-American while overcoming challenges
By Julie Villarreal, Public Affairs Specialist I
381-7192
Posted: 08/08/2003
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Louie Alamia, Bronc baseball player at The University of Texas-Pan American, isn’t your ordinary athlete.


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UTPA Baseball Player Louie Alamia

Alamia, who is an outfielder, has successfully stood out among the best players, especially after being chosen to the Louisville Slugger’s Freshmen All-American Baseball Team and the All-Independent Team early this summer.

“I was pretty ecstatic when I found out that I was chosen,” said Alamia, who has the third best hitting average in the nation. “I give a lot of thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to play baseball.”

But keeping the family tradition of being a Bronc (Alamia’s father also played baseball at UTPA) hasn’t been an easy task.

Overcoming many challenges including a broken hand in high school that threatened his college career, his grandmother’s death and a daily struggle with diabetes, Alamia says these are things that have only inspired him to be the best.

After breaking his hand while playing high school basketball, Alamia was worried he would never get an opportunity to play baseball at the college level.

“I had to accept the fact that I was going to have to make some adjustments,” he recalls. “But I just wanted to play baseball.”

With hard work, Alamia was able to join the UTPA baseball team during his first year in college.

“His work ethic is really outstanding and as a result he has had some success early on in his career that will continue,” said Willie Gawlik, UTPA baseball coach.

Alamia dedicated his first season to his grandmother, who passed away before she could see him play college ball.

“The best thing she loved to do in her last days was to watch me play sports,” said Alamia, who wrote his grandmother’s initials and the date she passed away on his batting glove. “In my eyes, all that I would do (on the field) would be for her. I would kiss my glove and look up to the sky.”

But his biggest challenge has been his struggle with diabetes, although Alamia doesn’t see it as one.

"I’ve never considered it a setback,” Alamia said. “My father always raised me to overcome challenges. This has never stopped me.”

Alamia was first diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 11 when he went for his first physical after joining the basketball team. It is this challenge that has inspired him to go to medical school after getting his degree at UTPA.

“I’m hoping to one day go to medical school to become an endocrinologist,” he said. “I want to help treat other victims who suffer from this disease.”

One of Alamia’s other dreams is to play professional baseball. In the meantime, Alamia will continue to enjoy his title as Freshman All-American and work hard for his college team. “I’m hoping that as a team we can win every game so that we can get invited to a regional tournament,” he said.

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