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Two Former DePaul Basketball Players Are On Front Lines Of Pandemic

CHICAGO (CBS) -- No more shots and rebounds for two former DePaul basketball players.

Instead they are focused on assists by helping to save lives during the pandemic.

CBS 2's Megan Mawicke has their story.

At 6-foot-10, it's hard to miss Pete Ryckbosch in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital emergency room. The former DePaul basketball player has been a nurse there since last October.

"I get, 'where did you play? How tall are you?" said Pete Ryckbosch.

Two months later,  he was joined on staff by a former Blue Demon women's star.

"He's my biggest hype man. He goes around telling my whole department and everyone that I played a sport," said Brooke Schulte.

"She was Big East Player of the year, meaning she was best women's basketball player in the entire Big East, one of the big time basketball conferences in the country," added Ryckbosch.

"And that is what he goes around doing and I say 'thank you,'" said Schulte.

Brooke Schulte and Pete Ryckbosch now work side-by-side after both graduated from DePaul Nursing Programs last year. The former Division-One athletes said they still apply skills they learned on the basketball court to working on the front lines during a pandemic.

 "It's so parallel. Everything about it, down to time management to prioritization. You're on a team when you're in a hospital and different parts of that team work as a well-oiled machine. I feel like I'm back on the court when I'm on the floor of the emergency department," Schulte said.

"College basketball is a very stressful thing to do. So learning to work well in a super-stressful situations is really helpful because often times we're dealing with people's lives," added Ryckbosch.

"It's an interesting time for us to be new nurses in the midst of a pandemic, for me it's doing what I love to do in taking care of people," said Schulte.

Ryckbosch said he decided he wanted to be a nurse after have four knee surgeries and both of them say former teammates and coaches have checked in on them during these uncertain times.

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