At Amherst College, in Massachusetts, Drew continued focus on the "athlete" part of "student athlete." While a star on the track and on the football field, Charles Drew never got better than a C in any of his college classes.
Nevertheless, sports taught him important lessons about character and the willpower that would stick with him for the rest of his life. As he would later recall, "College athletics are to me a means, not an end in itself... in play, [an athelete] becomes accustomed to meeting all kinds of odds, and overcoming them... he learns to keep plugging away, to give more than he has, when his body is worn out and every move is pain."
Even pain itself could have an educational effect: he would later tell one magazine interviewer that his interest in medicine began when he "got banged up in football and wanted to know how the body works."