March is National Athletic Training Month, a chance to acknowledge the men and woman who look after athletes on the San Joaquin Delta College campus and beyond.
The month will take on special significance for the Delta athletic training staff, as they recognize head trainer Art Yee, who has been on the staff for 35 years.
For much of his time at Delta, Yee was the only person on the athletic training staff.
“For 31 years I was here by myself. Our baseball and softball used to be side by side, so I would stand in the middle and watch both games,“ said Yee.
A Stockton native and Edison High graduate, Yee attended Delta and was initially majoring in photography.
Due to his passion for sports and disdain for dark rooms, Yee decided to instead to pursue a degree in athletic training.
Yee graduated from San Jose State in 1975, and on his return to Stockton spent two years as an emergency medical trainer, before accepting the job of athletic trainer at Delta in 1977.
In his time at Delta, Yee has seen countless student athletes come and go, and finds satisfaction in working with them and watching them flourish on and off the field.
“It’s been enjoyable working with the athletes, it’s enjoyable watching their success. I have a lot of nice memories here for the past 35 years and it’s always nice to see kids graduate, get a scholarship and go on to school and do well,” said Yee.
Yee was a part of the only state-title winning teams in Delta history, which are the 1987 men’s basketball team and 2011 baseball team.
Among Yee’s most famous patients were Webster Slaughter, a Pro Bowl wide receiver and returner for the Cleveland Browns in the 80s, and Scotty Brooks, who currently coaches the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA.
Yee now works with Jamie DeRollo, who had a hand in organizing the athletic trainers month events.
DeRollo has been at Delta for four years, having earned her degree in health care administration from South University in Savannah, Ga.
“We’re just trying to promote the profession, not as many people know about what athletic training entails so we’re trying to inform the community about what we do and that we’re allied health care professionals,” said DeRollo.
On March 15 the Delta athletic trainers will be conducting a blood drive in Upper Danner Hall.
On March 17, a five-mile run followed by a pancake breakfast will be taking place in support of University of the Pacific (UOP) athletic training students.
Additionally, trainers from both Delta and UOP will be speaking at various high schools throughout Stockton about athletic training and what the profession encompasses.