High school basketball star sees his future in audiology

David Kirkwood
July 11, 2012

JUNCTION, IL–How many audiologists are able to dunk a basketball? While a search of the Internet fails to yield an answer, the odds are that the number is in the single digits. However, if things go according to Andrew Drone’s plans, that number may rise by 1.

The dunking part is easy for Drone, who is a 6-foot-11, 265-pound, second-team all-state basketball player from Gallatin County High School in Illinois. However, unlike nearly all his athletic peers, the 17-year-old student is already aiming at a career in audiology, a year before he gets his diploma.

So reported his local newspaper, The Daily American, in an article by Michael Dann published July 10. Drone explained that his father has been deaf in both ears all his life. He had a hearing aid implanted in one ear, but it quit working.

It was Andrew’s desire to help his dad—and others who suffer from hearing loss—that started him on the path toward audiology.

In an interview, he told Dann, “Audiology is not something that I have an intense knowledge of, but I know a little about it and I’ve known about it for a long time. I feel it’s just something I could go into, learn about it, so I could try to help people from having to go through what dad did.”



As a star basketball player, Drone has already heard from 30 colleges that are interested in having him play for them. However, the young man’s talents are not limited to the court. He is also an excellent student with a GPA that puts him close to the top of his class. So he is set on getting a good education in college and not just playing basketball.

Therefore, when Drone announced where he would like to go to college, it was not surprising that he selected Rice University, which is rated 17th in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of American universities. The Houston-based school is particularly strong in science and engineering, which makes it a logical choice for someone planning to go into audiology.

Whether Andrew’s future is in the NBA or the AAA remains to be seen, but at the very least it’s good to see a high-profile athlete heralding the importance of hearing care.

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