Former High School Alliance student fulfills NFL dream

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | April 30, 2019

Image with caption: Noah Fant, a member of the 2015-16 High School Alliance class -- and now a member of the Denver Broncos.

Noah Fant, a member of the 2015-16 High School Alliance class -- and now a member of the Denver Broncos.

Heidi Kaschke didn't really have a favorite professional football team before Thursday, April 25.

Now, she's a Denver Broncos fan.

Kaschke, the director of UNMC's High School Alliance, was glued to her television set on the first night of the National Football League draft, when Nebraska native Noah Fant, a tight end out of the University of Iowa, was picked in the first round by the Broncos.

See a Denver Post profile on Fant.

Fant is a former High School Alliance student, and Kaschke said she was bowled over to see the talented tight end -- who she remembers as a curious, intelligent student with a booming, infectious laugh -- fulfill his NFL dream.

"He was very genuine, very smart, very humble," she said. "He was always asking questions, always wanting to know more.

"When he got picked, my phone started blowing up," Kaschke said. "Former teachers, former students who all knew him -- we were all excited."

Kaschke even took time to text Fant herself, complimenting him on the suit he wore to the draft.

Fant joined the alliance in the academic year 2015-16, his senior year of high school at Omaha South. He has stayed in touch with Kaschke since, even returning to UNMC during his college holiday break in 2016 to meet with new alliance students.

"Former High School Alliance students come back frequently," Kaschke said. "They want to give back to the program. Noah wanted to come and say hello to the students, tell them what a great opportunity the High School Alliance is."

Kaschke said she felt incredibly proud and happy for Fant as she watched him get drafted.

"He had always talked about either the NFL draft or medical school," she said.

One down. And Kaschke, who is still in touch with Fant and his family, doesn't think any of Fant's dreams are out of his reach at this point.

"Medical school is still always an option after his NFL career," Kaschke said. "It's been done before. And I certainly believe Noah could do it."


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Michele Merrill
April 30, 2019 at 7:58 AM

It was so fun to watch Noah play for the Iowa Hawkeyes! I look forward to seeing him play for the Denver Broncos.