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Photo credit: Everyday Health Photo of Hernandez (dressed in all black) at The Watcha! Film Series in honor of Women’s History Month.

Making professional dreams come true

SAN ANTONIO – Former athletes from Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) signed professional contracts after graduation.

The OLLU athletic department has found success over the years with multiple team and individual athlete awards. Some athletes have even found success beyond OLLU.

OLLU alumni and former OLLU baseball player Jose Diaz signed a professional contract on Aug. 30, with the professional baseball team, the Florence Y’all’s.

Diaz, originally from Pinar del Rio, Cuba, played for the Saints from 2016 – 2021 as an outfielder and right-handed pitcher. He majored in criminal justice.

“Ever since I can remember, I have dreamed and worked extremely hard my entire career for that day,” Diaz said. “It was a surreal feeling that I can’t quite put into words; proud would be an understatement.”

Diaz said he is most excited about finding out what he can accomplish outside of his comfort zone and to understand his true strengths and weaknesses are.

“Jose is a great young man,” said Bryan Aughney, head baseball coach for OLLU. “He has put a lot of work in over the past five years to get him where he is now.”

 In his time at OLLU, Diaz received multiple awards, including First Team All-Conference Outfielder, Red River Athletic
Conference (RRAC) Pitcher of the Week, RRAC Scholar-Athlete, Big Blue Top Saint, Male Athlete of the Year and more.

“My athletic career at OLLU helped me understand that this game is bigger than all of us and has no consideration for how hard you have worked or not,” Diaz said. “Success is not a straight line, it comes with many ups and unfortunately way more downs, but it is all part of the journey.”

The Florence Y’alls season ended Sep. 19 with a game against the Schaumburg Boomers.

Another OLLU alumni who further pursued their athletic career is former OLLU basketball player Michael Saladin.
Saladin started his college career at Houston Baptist University, but transferred and played for OLLU from 2018-2020 where he majored in kinesiology.

OLLU alum, Micheal Saladin dribbles past a UTSA player in a non-conference match-up.
Photo courtesy of OLLU Saints Athletics

The Beaumont, Texas, native also won multiple awards from OLLU including Second-Team All-Conference and Top Saint.

“My time at OLLU was great, I really didn’t know much about it before coming” Saladin said. “It turned out to be a big blessing in my life, I developed a ton as both a player and person there, so I’ll always have love for OLLU.”

On Sep. 6, 2021, Saladin signed with the professional basketball team, Hammarby Idrottsförening (Hammarby IF), in Sweden.

“I never liked to put limits on myself, but I would be lying if I said I expected this when I was coming out of high school,” Saladin said. “It felt great to see all the years of hard work and long days in the gym pay off in a big way.”

OLLU basketball also produced another professional athlete. Edvin Tedesjö transferred to OLLU in the Fall of 2019 and graduated in the Spring of 2021 with a degree in business management.

Former international OLLU student-athlete Edvin Tedesjö goes in for layup.
Photo courtesy of OLLU Saints Athletics

“I’m very happy for my time at OLLU,” Tedesjö said. “The people around me, especially my teammates, made me feel at home.”

Tedesjö originally from Sweden, returned home to pursue a professional career. On Aug. 23, Tedesjö signed with Swedish professional basketball team, BC Luleå.

“This is where I have always wanted to return to after my collegiate career,” Tedesjö said. “To get to play for and represent my city feels great.”

Tedesjö said he is most excited about competing within the highest level in the country, and to see how they stack up against the competition.

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