We recently caught up with women’s basketball player, Samantha to talk about her experience with Play Overseas and as a student-athlete in the UK!
When Samantha graduated from TCNJ last year, she knew she was not ready to give up playing basketball. After contacting Play Overseas, we were able to present her with a number of options to continue her playing career, whilst earning her masters degree at the same time.
Sam had a fantastic year on the court, helping her team to become Midlands Tier 1 Division champions behind an (11-1) record on the season. Since returning home, we spoke with Sam about her experience as a student-athlete in England.
What made you accept your offer to come over to England after graduating from TCNJ?
I wanted to continue to play basketball for at least another year. When my senior season ended, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up basketball just yet. I was considering grad school in America because I wanted to further my education. However, I still really wanted to play competitive basketball, so Play Overseas was the only option where I could do both.
As a basketballer, what has been your experience of playing in England?
Playing basketball in England has been a great experience. I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to keep playing the sport I love for another year. Also, I’ve made great friendships with my teammates. I’ll never forget this experience.
Away from the court, how have you enjoyed living in England?
Having to come home because of the coronavirus situation made me really reflect on my time in the UK. The fact I was so sad to leave just shows how much I enjoyed living in England. I really love Nottingham, the city I was living in. There was always something to do and all within walking distance. I’ve also met people from all over the world who I now consider my close friends. I’ve learned so much from being away from home and living in a different country.
What would you say is the biggest difference of being a student-athlete in England, compared to America?
Playing in England has given me the opportunity to have a more balanced life as a student-athlete. The season wasn’t as time consuming as my basketball season was in the US. This gave me the chance to do things I wasn’t able to do in college like traveling, spending more time on my studies, socializing more, and really taking in the English culture. Even though it wasn’t as time consuming, games and practices were still competitive, and I still got to play the game I love.
What’s your favorite moment from your year overseas to date?
It’s hard to pick a favorite moment from the year because I’ve had so many. My most recent favorite moment was definitely winning the league! It was such a close and exciting game. My brother was actually at the game, so it was great having him there to cheer us on. Our team really came together to get the win!
It has been a fantastic year for our Play Overseas students and we could not be prouder of all of their achievements. If you would like to pursue your sporting passion whilst working towards a masters degree, apply online today and explore the opportunities that may be available to you!