Dr. Ivan Iton ‘21 helping Atlanta athletes get back on their feet and back on the field
“I am learning a lot, gaining a lot of experience and I am working with some brilliant physical therapists who have rehabbed pro athletes and some physical therapists that have previously worked with NBA teams and MLB teams.”
Ivan Iton ‘21 is no stranger to the rigors of athletics.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy alum and standout basketball player was twice named the Empire 8 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and is ranked fifth on the College’s all-time scoring list, second in career blocks, and third in career rebounds.
He is a recipient of the 2021 Dean Robert Woods Student Life Award and in August 2021 began a one-year physical therapy residency in Birmingham, Alabama with ATI - a nationally-recognized rehabilitation provider, specializing in research-based physical therapy, workers’ compensation rehab, employer worksite solutions, sports medicine, home health, and a variety of specialty therapies.
At the ATI clinic in downtown Birmingham, Dr. Iton helps cover athletics for Mountain Brook High School and Samford University athletics.
“I have enjoyed everything moment thus far!” he says. “I am learning a lot, gaining a lot of experience and I am working with some brilliant physical therapists who have rehabbed pro athletes and some physical therapists that have previously worked with NBA teams and MLB teams.”
After 13 months of putting the expertise he honed at Utica College to use helping numerous athletes, this hands-on experience will make Dr. Iton eligible to sit and take his Sports Certified Specialist exam.
Shortly before beginning his residency at ATI, Dr. Iton received the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) prestigious 2021 Minority Scholarship Award.
The APTA presents the award to students who demonstrate exceptional participation in minority affairs activities, consistent academic excellence, and the potential for superior achievements in the profession of physical therapy.
Notably, Dr. Iton was the only Minority Scholarship Award winner from a small comprehensive college in 2021 – the other five recipients all from major universities including Indiana State and the University of Nebraska.
Dr. Iton, from Ossining, NY, earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Utica College in 2018. As a student, Dr. Iton was a peer mentor in the Utica College Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and also served in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).
With the knowledge gained at Utica College and the experiential opportunities to put his skills to work, Dr. Iton continues to push forward toward his dreams of returning to the basketball court, just on the other side of the bench.
“I hope to continue learning and gaining experience and eventually work my way to being a physical therapist for an NBA team.”
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