Eric Becker, right, and Jenna Becker, center, show family support for each other at a graduation.

Effects of head injuries in sports go far beyond the playing field

As a teenager, Eric Becker felt like the sports world was in the palm of his hand — anything was possible. He loved football and baseball and even garnered attention from NCAA Division I schools like Central Michigan University and Michigan State University during his career at Detroit Catholic Central High School. But Becker never got to find out how far he could have taken his skills. Based off of his neurological history, doctors told Becker he had an estimated 20 concussions, most likely from his sports activities. He was crushed. “The sad thing is I never stopped playing,” Becker said. “I can remember having a headache for like three straight years.

After the playing days are over: Athletes look for new opportunities

Collegiate and professional athletes dedicate their lives to their teams during the time in their programs.  When their playing days are over, it makes you wonder what opportunities and benefits these athletes are provided with, if any. Retirement plans, health benefits and career services are some programs that the NCAA and professional leagues provide for their former athletes. Saving for the future

Cory Schlesinger played 12 years in the NFL after being drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 1995 NFL draft.  He’s now a teacher at Allen Park High School. Schlesinger has remained active in the Detroit Lions organization through their alumni association.

Young athletes face pressure make leap to college

Dan Perry felt the pressure at an early age. He knew he needed to wrestle. “My family would have definitely struggled to put me through college,” said Perry, who accepted a scholarship to wrestle for the University of Michigan. “I would have had to take out a ton of loans and then would have spent my entire life trying to pay them back.”

Perry had wrestled ever since he was a little boy and found success. So, even though he also played football, he focused on wrestling as a way get past the barriers like rising tuition to get to college.

Former Detroit Lions player Lomas Brown, right, and Rob Rubick pose on the set of "Lions Live." Brown became a broadcaster as a way to stay connected with the sport he played since he was a child.

Athletes transition from professional to not-so professional world

For most of his life, Lomas Brown could be defined by two words: football player. Growing up in Miami, Brown was a standout offensive lineman throughout his childhood. He accepted a scholarship and had a decorated collegiate career at the University of Florida. Brown was the first round draft pick for the Detroit Lions (sixth overall) in the 1985 NFL draft. But after 18 seasons, playing for three different teams, Brown retired.

Athletes face sprains, bruises and other injuries in quest for their sport

Athletes face a variety of challenges during games. But one many may never see coming is an injury. The most common injuries are bruises and contusions, which are not as serious. Chris Kuenze, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University, said more acute injuries include concussions, ACL tears, ankle sprains and other ankle-related injuries. Kuenze researches ACL injuries and what happens after ACL reconstruction, working recently with the MSU hockey and basketball teams.

Injuries can happen in a number of ways.

Detroit’s Cass Tech helps football players go to next level

Detroit’s Cass Technical High School has built a reputation of producing successful football players. Head coach Thomas Whilcher said the school has built a 20-year reputation of sending students to NCAA Division I colleges to play. Some players that have come from this school are Jourdan Lewis, who played for the University of Michigan and is now in his rookie season playing for the Dallas Cowboys, and Delano Hill, who also played at University of Michigan and is now with the Seattle Seahawks in his rookie season.