By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) – You would be hard pressed to find anyone who defines the term “student athlete” more impressively than Jon Ward, a star basketball player at Ursinus. He’s headed to Europe this summer to pursue another passion: astrophysics.

Ward will spend ten weeks in Paris this summer taking part in what’s called a “research experience” for undergraduates–he’ll be working at an astrophysics lab.

“We are trying to develop a global system of telescopes that helps with the detection of gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are actually nothing that’s actually been physically detected yet, so they don’t know that they exist. But the theory of general relativity from Einstein predicts that they exist,” Ward explains.

Pretty heady stuff, but Ward’s head coach at Ursinus, Kevin Small, says it’s what he’s come to expect from the Allentown native.

“Jon is a unique kid in our basketball family. It’s awfully special to have a kid as talented as a basketball player who also so thrives and takes advantage of his academic opportunities,” Small says.

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