Time out with T.O. - One impressive young man

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | November 22, 2016

Image with caption: Noah Fant came back to Omaha to speak to the UNMC High School Alliance on Oct. 28 when the Iowa Hawkeyes had a bye week. He's seen here with Heidi Kaschke, program coordinator of the HSA. Fant, who wears No. 87, has caught eight passes for 60 yards this year, including a five-yard TD reception in a victory over Purdue. He led the team with three receptions last Saturday in a victory against Illinois. In last Sunday's sports section, an Omaha World-Herald sports reporter wrote that

Noah Fant came back to Omaha to speak to the UNMC High School Alliance on Oct. 28 when the Iowa Hawkeyes had a bye week. He's seen here with Heidi Kaschke, program coordinator of the HSA. Fant, who wears No. 87, has caught eight passes for 60 yards this year, including a five-yard TD reception in a victory over Purdue. He led the team with three receptions last Saturday in a victory against Illinois. In last Sunday's sports section, an Omaha World-Herald sports reporter wrote that "Fant may be next in a line of great Iowa tight ends. The Hawkeyes are manufacturing more ways to get the freshman the ball. He'll be one to watch the next few seasons and maybe even Friday against his home-state Huskers."

Noah Fant is the real deal.

The freshman tight end for the Iowa Hawkeyes recently had a bye week, so he came back to Omaha for the weekend.


TIME OUT picture disc.
WITH T.O.
by Tom O'Connor

One of his first stops was UNMC to visit with Heidi Kaschke, program coordinator of the UNMC High School Alliance (HSA), and to say a few words to UNMC's current class of high school scholars.

Fant (rhymes with pant) graduated from the HSA program this spring. A total rock star, he has a smile that lights up the room. Humble. Well spoken. Movie star looks. Herculian build. One impressive young man.

A 2016 graduate of Omaha South High School, Fant was a coveted athlete coming out of high school. A two-sport star in high school, Noah started on the South basketball team, which won the state championship this year and finished second last year.

His best sport was football where he played tight end and defensive end for his brother, Chris, who is head coach of the Packers.

The University of Nebraska recruited him hard, but Noah decided that the University of Iowa was the best fit for him. (Full disclosure -- As someone born and raised in Iowa, I'm smiling as I type these words.)

After learning about the HSA program from a school counselor, Fant was accepted into the program his senior year.

He came to UNMC every afternoon and took courses taught by UNMC professors in subjects such as pathology, biomedical research, anatomy and the art and science of decision making.

A 3.4 GPA student in high school, Fant loved the HSA. "It was a great experience for me," he said. "It gets you ready for college. There aren't very many programs like this in the nation."

The HSA inspired Noah, whose ultimate dream is to play in the NFL. It gave him a definite career path. "Eventually, I want to be an orthopedic surgeon," he said. "There are a lot of injuries in sports. I want to be that person who helps injured athletes get back to their dream of playing sports again."

Before ending his visit to UNMC, Fant swung by the chancellor's office to meet Bob Bartee, vice chancellor for external affairs and one of the masterminds behind the HSA.

It was a warm meeting. Bartee left Noah with some encouraging words.

"Don't lose sight of us," he said. "We'll make every effort to get you back."

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Bill Lydiatt
November 25, 2016 at 2:25 PM

Tom, great story about two great stories! The HSA continues to fulfill it's mission of widening the net to show as many students as possible the wonderful opportunities in health care. Heidi, Dele and Bob continue to be instrumental in making it tick. Best wishes to Noah, and all the other HSA grads.

Wayne R. Houston
November 22, 2016 at 11:49 AM

Nice story!

Sonja McCollister
November 22, 2016 at 9:17 AM

My congrats to Fant, and to UNMC for the foresight in creating the HSA program! Sonja McCollister

Katina Winters
November 22, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Heidi, what an amazing influence you and the HSA program has left with Noah. This is why UNMC stand outs; the dedicated education and the leaders that continue to develop our future leaders and medical professionals. Congratulations, Noah! Good luck in the game and Friday and we wish you health and prosperity.