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  Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, June 25, 2015, Pages 1 & 8

Mount Ayr native part of NBA championship team

From the locker room at Mount Ayr Community High School to the pinnacle of professional sports, the career of one former Raider has skyrocketed over the past 11 years.

But from his seat at courtside as the assistant athletic trainer of the newly-crowned NBA champion Golden State Warriors, Drew Yoder, a 2004 graduate, still credits his family ties with setting him up for his current success.

After graduating from Mount Ayr, Yoder attended Graceland University in Lamoni to major in athletic traning. After a couple of years, however, Yoder's older brother Brandon, who was an assistant trainer at Kansas State University at the time, convinced him to transfer to K-State.

"Brandon was the single reason I became interested in [athletic training]," said Yoder. "All the way through high school I looked up to my brother and then to see him do it, I knew it was something I wanted to at least try. It was a great decision, both personally and for my career. Being close to Brandon was important to me. I helped me develop a lot of relationships inside my profession."

[Page 8 - rest of article not found in this issue.]

Drew Yoder (right) sits on the bench of the Golden State Warriors alongside head coach Steve Kerr (left) and assistant coach Alvin Gentry, who has since been named head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, July 02, 2015, Page 12

Mount Ayr native part of NBA championship team

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story ran on the front page of the June 25 Record-News, but due to production errors, a good portion of the story was left out. We apologize for the error.] [TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: I have picked up the story a couple of sentences where it left off in the June 25 issue.]

Brandon Yoder, a 1999 MAC grad, is currently completing his first year as director of sports medicine and head basketball trainer at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to coming to Marquette, he had served as primary trainer for the K-State men's basketball team for the previous five years.

Drew and Brandon are sons of Bret and Debbie Yoder of Mount Ayr.

"I always knew I wanted to be in athletics in some way," said Yoder. "Brandon had a huge part in why I'm here today. Seeing him and seeing what he was doing just sparked my interest. The moment that really sold me was when I transferred to K-State and was able to experience big time athletics. I worked with the football team as a senior, and taking that all in and realizing that you're part of something big, it felt good. After that I knew it was something I wanted to do. I didn't have any idea if I wanted to stay in collegiate sports or work in professional sports, but I knew I was going down the right career path."

After graduating from Kansas State with a degree in athletic training, Yoder was accepted as a graduate student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he worked with the football program from 2008 until his graduation in 2010.

From there he again followed in his brother's footsteps by landing an internship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where Brandon had gone to grad school. As luck would have it, the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA trained at Southern Methodist facilities, and Yoder's internship was eventually split between SMU and the Mavericks.

"That's how I got my foot in the door in the NBA," said Yoder. "I kept my head down and just worked as hard as I could and that helped turn into this position."

Yoder is completing his second year at Golden State. In his first year the Warriors finished second in their division but lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. This year the Warriors boasted a league-leading 67-15 record, finished first in the Western Conference and defeated LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win their first title in 40 years and the fourth in franchise history. Among players with whom Yoder works are season MVP Stephen Curry, championship series MVP Andre Igudoala and former Ames High School and University of North Carolina standout Harrison Barnes.

Yoder said the celebration in the Warrior locker room following the championship allowed him an opportunity to reflect on where it all began.

"Right after the game finished, we all went to the locker room and got our champagne bath," he said. "After a couple hours I finally got a chance to check my phone to see the amount of messages from a lot of people I hadn't even talked to in a while. It was great to hear from everybody. It was incredible.

"I always appreciate where I came from," he added. "I just think Mount Ayr is one of the best communities to grow up in, and it really showed in all the support I got from a lot of people back home. There are a lot of people in the community who helped me get to where I am."

Whether Raider or Yellowjacket, Wildcat or Tiger or Mustang, Maverick or Warrior, Drew Yoder has carried with him those qualities that mark a true champion; hard work, humility and hometown values, all of which he learned growing up in the town of Mount Ayr.

Photographs courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, February 11, 2016, Page 16

A familiar face graced Mount Ayr television screens this week as MAC graduate Drew Yoder (front row, far right) was present as President Obama honored the Golden State Warriors for winning last year's NBA championship. Yoder is the team's assistant athletic trainer.

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, May of 2016


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