Jason Donald Oylmpic Profile
July 31, 2008
Former Arizona shortstop Jason Donald has been selected to the U.S. National Team and will competing in the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing. Donald finished his career at Arizona with a 26-game hitting streak, matching Brain Anderson's mark for the longest single season hitting streak in program history. Donald is also the first Wildcat to make the U.S. National Team for baseball.
Recently, Finch spoke about her preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games and reflected on her time as a Wildcat:
Q: How did you feel when you where named to USA Baseball?
A: It was a pretty awesome feeling. I think I almost broke Paul Seiler's ear drum when he told me because I yelled so loud into the phone. It wasn't really something I thought would ever be possible for me to or even be considered for. Many different emotions came over me. I was obviously very excited but felt humbled as well because this is such a great opportunity not only to represent me, my family, the Phillies organization, but the United States. Having the opportunity to play for this great country is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Q: How did playing baseball at the University of Arizona prepare you foryour pro career and the 2008 Olympics?
A: There is no doubt in my mind that playing for the U of A and Coach Lopez prepared for me for pro ball and the Olympics. I learned how to be a man and take responsibility for myself, my actions, and my career. Everything I went through, good and bad, really did prepare me for the grind of what is minor league baseball life. You quickly learn how to handle adversity playing in the Pac 10 because the competition is so tough and it was the first time I really ever had to make adjustments and deal with not having a good game every time I stepped on the field. I do owe a lot to Coach Lopez because I learned so many of the finer points of the game, how to prepare myself on a day in and day out basis, and that baseball as well as life isn't always going to be easy. The way you handle it and get through is what is most important. Lopes was tough, but a good tough because when you leave the program, you are well prepared for pro ball and life in the real world.
Q: What is it like playing minor league baseball?
A: Minor league baseball is a grind. That's the best way to put it. Not only do you play everyday, but have workouts and conditioning and lots of on field early work. The travel and hotels can be tough at times; it does get better as you move up though. But it is all worth it because I am getting to do what I love on a day in and day out basis. The ultimate goal is to get to the big leagues and have a career, and there is no question that all of this is worth it to have the opportunity to play in the big leagues.
Q: What do you miss about Arizona Athletics?
A: I miss a lot of things about Arizona Athletics. The comradery with other athletes whether it be in study hall, in the weight room, or at various events around campus was always nice. I miss going to football games and tailgating out on the mall with friends and teammates. The faculty and staff around McKale were awesome and always very supportive, especially those who worked in academics and in the equipment office. Everyone rooted for each other and it was great to be apart of.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most when you are in Beijing?
A: The thing I am most looking forward to Beijing is everything. Opening ceremonies, Olympic village, the different events, pretty much all that goes into the Olympic Games. All the events and functions will be great, but at the same time I know it's a business trip. And the reason I am going over there is to win a gold medal and represent our country. I am really looking forward to the Olympics and can't wait to get to Beijing.