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Outreach Athletic Training Program

Helping Local Athletes

VCU Sports Medicine provides athletic trainers for health care services at high schools, universities and other sporting events in the Richmond area. VCU Sports Medicine’s Outreach Athletic Training program also offers pre-participation physicals for athletes.

Certified athletic trainers (ATC) are allied health care professionals who are experts in injury prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. The presence of an ATC ensures a safe environment for athletic participation. ATC’s prepare athletes for practice, evaluate injured athletes and provide first aid, treatment, referral and rehabilitation. ATCs also provide services that are collaborative with VCU Sports Medicine physicians and also work with other community health care providers such as pediatricians, primary care physicians and physical therapists, making communication and follow up care much more effective and efficient.

VCU Sports Medicine’s Outreach Athletic Training program services include:

  • Daily athletic training coverage for NCAA and high school sports
  • Injury evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation
  • Injury triage (referral of athletic injuries to the appropriate medical provider)
  • Strengthening, conditioning and flexibility training and prevention programs
  • Concussion awareness and treatment

VCU Sports Medicine Outreach Athletic Training program affiliations:

  • Virginia Union University
  • Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
  • Richard Bland College Athletics
  • Virginia State University
  • VCU Club Sports
  • Saint Gertrude High School

If you have questions regarding our Outreach Athletic Training program, please call (804) 828-0822 and ask for Nicole.

Meet our Outreach Athletic Training staff

Ryan Averett M.S., ATC

Ryan joined the VCU Sports Medicine team in January of 2017, and servers as the outreach Athletic Trainer at Richard Bland College in Petersburg, VA. Ryan previously served as an Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Nevada 2013-2016, where he primarily worked with women’s basketball, men and women’s tennis, and supervised the graduate assistant Athletic Trainers.

A native of Cedar City, Utah, Ryan previously worked as an assistant athletic trainer at North Carolina Wesleyan College from 2012-2013, working with women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, and women’s lacrosse. Before that he worked as a Graduate Assistant at Arizona state while getting is Master of Science from A.T. Still University. Ryan previously received his Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Southern Utah University in 2008 working women’s gymnastics.

A Certified Athletic Trainer, Ryan is also a member of several professional organizations (NATA, VATA, MAATA, NEVATA, FWATA) and has certifications in both American Heart Association Professional rescue CPR/AED and First Aid.

Ashley Ball, M.S., LAT, ATC

Ashley joined the VCU Department of Recreational Sports under Student Affairs in collaboration with VCU Health in July 2017. She will primarily work with Recreational Sports which includes Sport Clubs and Intramural Sports as a Certified Athletic Trainer. She also serves on a chair of the Risk Management Committee for the Department of Recreational Sports. With this start up Athletic Training program for VCU, Ashley has developed the concussion and education program that will be implemented starting in 2017 for the Recreational Sports participants. Ball has worked previously as a Graduate Assistant at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from 2015 to 2017 where she predominantly worked with men’s ice hockey and football. While here, she developed the concussion protocol and educational program that is used throughout their Club Sports program.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Ball earned her B.S. in Athletic Training with an Exercise Science minor from Mercyhurst University in 2015, her A.A. in Psychology from the Community College of Allegheny County in 2016, and her M.S. in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise and Sport Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) in 2017.

Shanika Harris, M.S., LAT, ATC

Shanika joined the VCU Sports Medicine team in June 2018 as a Certified Athletic Trainer and serves as the outreach Athletic Trainer at Virginia Union University.

A native of Richmond, VA, Shanika attended John Marshall High School. She earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC in 2016; and her M.S. in Athletic Training from Lynchburg College in 2018. At Saint Augustine’s, she was a member of the Women’s Basketball team playing the Guard position for 3 years. After graduation, Harris was offered the opportunity to play professionally overseas. Shockingly, she turned down the offer in the pursuit of furthering her education.

At Lynchburg College, she worked clinically with men’s and women’s Track and Field along with men’s and women’s Tennis. Harris also provided coverage at Rustburg High school, Randolph College, and Heritage High school where she covered football, girls and boys basketball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer and softball and baseball. Lastly, she was also a member of the Athletic Training Honors Society, Iota Tau Alpha.

A certified Athletic Trainer, Shanika is also a member of NATA and holds certifications of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR/AED and First Aid.

Sean Hill M.S., ATC, PES

Sean joined the VCU Sports Medicine team in August 2017 as a Certified Athletic Trainer/Physician Extender. Sean previously worked for two years as the Head Athletic Trainer at Crockett High School in Crockett, Texas. Prior to this, Sean worked as a civilian contractor with the US Army providing Athletic Training services to soldiers in Basic Training at Fort Jackson, Sc. Sean worked as an Assistant Athletic Trainer for Presbyterian College from 2010-2012. While there Sean was the assistant for football, and head for baseball in addition to being the main contact for Women's Tennis and cheerleading.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Sean earned his B.S. in Athletic Training from Texas Christian University in 2008; and his M.S. in Exercise Science and health promotion with focus in Performance Enhancement and injury prevention from California University of Pennsylvania in 2009 while working as a Graduate Assistant for Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals in Tyler, Tx. Sean also holds the Performance Enhancement Specialist certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Kenneth Lassiter, M.S., ATC

Kenneth joined the VCU Sports Medicine team in August of 2017 and serves as the outreach Athletic Trainer at Virginia State University. He previously worked as an assistant athletic trainer at Fayetteville State University from 2016-2017. Lassiter provided coverage for all 10 varsity sports programs with a primary focus working with the FSU football and softball programs.

A native of Asheboro, NC, Kenneth received his M.S. in Kinesiology from Northeastern State University in 2016. He worked primarily with the men's basketball program, while assisting with football. Kenneth received his B.S. in Athletic Training from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2014 where he worked with the Braves baseball, men's and women's soccer programs along with outreach to South Robeson, Red Springs, and Lumberton High School.

Kenneth is a member of the NATA, MAATA, and NCATA. He is a Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner and also has the following certifications: BOC, American Red Cross Professional Rescuer, Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure, North Carolina Board of Medical Licensure, and Graston Technique MI.

Emily Pritchett, MS, ATC

Emily joined the VCU Sports Medicine team in May 2018 as Certified Athletic Trainer/Physician’s Extender. Previously she worked as a contracted Athletic Trainer to Henrico High School through Physical Therapy Solutions out of Mechanicsville, Virginia. During graduate school she held a graduate assistantship within the Sindecuse Sports Medicine Clinic seeing patients for rehabilitation as well as working with various orthopedic and podiatric physicians. While in Michigan she worked with the United States Tennis Association covering the Boy’s National Championships for 16 and 18 year olds as well as various camps such as the Michigan Blind Athletic Association and the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League.

A native of Mechanicsville, Va., Emily earned her B.S. in Athletic Training from George Mason University in 2015 and her M.S. in Post-Professional Athletic Training from Western Michigan University in 2017.

Nicole Stevens, M.S., ATC

Nicole joined VCU Health Sports Medicine in December 2013 and served as the outreach athletic trainer at Virginia Union University from December 2013 to June 2015. Beginning in June 2015 she began working in the VCU Health Sports Medicine clinic as a Certified Athletic Trainer/Physician Extender and helped the physicians coordinate all aspects of the athletic training outreach program. In December 2018, Nicole was promoted to Athletic Training Program Coordinator.

Nicole previously worked for Bon Secours Sports Medicine from 2012-2013 and served as the head athletic trainer at Thomas Jefferson High School. From 2007-12, she worked as an assistant athletic trainer with VCU Athletics, where her primary focus was the women’s basketball and men’s golf teams. She was a part of a women’s basketball program that made four WNIT postseason appearances, an NCAA tournament appearance and had three players drafted to the WNBA. She served as an athletic training intern with VCU field hockey and both men’s and women’s tennis teams from 2004-06. Nicole spent the 2006-07 season at Virginia’s West Point High School as head athletic trainer. While working with West Point High School, she also served as an exercise specialist at Tidewater Physical Therapy, Inc., in Williamsburg, Va.

A native of Newport News, Va., Stevens earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Campbell University in 2004 and her M.S. in Exercise Science and Health Promotion with a focus in Rehabilitation Sciences from California University of Pennsylvania in 2006.

Sadie Smith, LAT, ATC 

Sadie joined the VCU Health Sports Medicine team in November 2018 as a certified athletic trainer and serves as the outreach athletic trainer for Saint Gertrude High School. 

Prior to work with VCU Health, Saide worked for Physical Therapy Solutions Innsbrook and served as the outreach athletic trainer for the Steward School in Richmond, VA staring in June 2017. There she worked with co-ed athletes ranging from grades 6th through 12th. During the 2017-18 school year, the boy's tennis team won the state championship and the baseball team ended as runner up for the state title as well as second place in their conference. While she was with PTS, Sadie had the opportunity to cover events for the Richmond Roughriders arena football team and the Babe Ruth Little League World Series. 

Sadie, a native of Richmond, VA, attended Saint Gertrude High School. She earned her B.S. in Athletic Training from Longwood Univeristy.  

Christy Turnbow, M.S., ATC, PES

Christy joined the VCU Health Sports Medicine team in March 2014 as a certified athletic trainer. She serves as the head athletic trainer for Maggie Walker Governor’s School, where she provides medical coverage for 16 varsity and junior varsity sports. Turnbow previously worked with VCU Athletics as an intern athletic trainer from 2002-03, where her main sports coverage was women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s track and field. She then accepted a rehab tech position at VCU Health Sports Medicine in the physical therapy department from 2002-14. She worked as an assistant athletic trainer at St. Catherine’s School from 2009-12. Christy also coordinates athletic training coverage for River City Sport and Social Club, and has worked a variety of events including USA Indoor Field Hockey, AAU karate, AAU basketball and ultimate frisbee, as well as a variety of camps and tournaments.

Christy received a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in rehabilitative services with a focus in substance abuse from VCU in 2001. She earned her M.S. in exercise science and health promotion with a focus in performance enhancement and injury prevention from California University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Christy also holds the credential of Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.