Niko Fraser: ‘The biggest transformation of my life’

Niko Fraser ’13 competes for his grades the same way he plays baseball—hard.

“I’m proud to say I’m a student and an athlete,” he says. “I think my favorite time of the year is in the fall when we announce all the athletes that have a 3.0 GPA or higher and there are a couple hundred names there. That makes me proud.”

The Georgia native was one of close to 200 Elon athletes named to the Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll for 2010-2011. Being a student-athlete has taught Niko plenty.

“Playing baseball at Elon has probably been the best preparation for the rest of my life,” he says. “I see being on a Division I team like being in a workplace. You have to deal with many different personalities, and you have to bring the best out of everyone to accomplish a common goal. As much as I love baseball, I know I’m not going to play it for the rest of my life, and that’s where being a student comes in.”

Niko is grateful to former Elon parents Damion and Sherri Carufe for endowing a scholarship to help members of the baseball team.

“Without the Carufe Scholarship, my family couldn’t afford Elon,” he says. “Having this scholarship is a responsibility for me to fulfill. I want the Carufes to be proud of me.”

NIko has grown personally, intellectually and spiritually at Elon.

“My Elon experience has been the biggest transformation of my life,” he says. “I’m a lot more grounded and open-minded now. I’m no longer focused on Niko’s stats but on how the team does. I also became a Christian at Elon. I have found something to stand for that I can take into the classroom and onto the field and let that be my driving force.”

Niko leads the baseball team’s Bible study sessions and is a leader with Campus Outreach, one of Elon’s religious and spiritual life organizations. He embraces his role as team captain and is known for being a bit of a nerd during practice.

“I like coming out to the field and talking about classroom topics like philosophy or religion,” he says. “I think it’s fun.”

The journalism major is quick to thank his professors for inspiring him to learn.

“All the communications faculty take a strong interest in their students, and they push you when you need to be pushed,” he says. “During my sophomore year, I did a video project that was really challenging. I got the same butterflies when I presented my video in class that I get when I’m up at bat.”
When asked what grade he received, Niko smiled. “I got an A.”