When John Niehoff, BS Accounting ’84, was finishing up high school in Springfield, Virginia, he knew he wanted to play NCAA Division 1 basketball, but he didn’t have any offers or a lot of money.
It just so happened that nearby George Mason University was starting its first year in Division 1, and it was within driving distance of Niehoff’s Springfield home.
“It was a hard first semester,” he says. “I was trying out for the basketball team, and I was literally a Washington Post paper boy delivering papers every morning.”
But the struggles didn’t last long. Niehoff made the team, playing for Mason from 1981 to 1984, and received a scholarship after his first semester.
“If I hadn’t gotten the scholarship, [my college experience] would’ve been a lot harder,” says the former point guard, who is now a partner at the accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly. “And I probably couldn’t have played basketball.”