The Torch

My athletics journey was a very unorthodox one. Starting at a different school — Loyola University Chicago, which was once a part of our conference — I never knew that I would end up at Valpo, let alone only two years into my basketball career. After dealing with a very toxic and unhealthy situation at the start of my collegiate career, I decided to quit in the middle of the season to better my mental health and put myself in the transfer portal. However, once entering the portal, I had no idea that the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic would hit — sending me home and sort of halting my recruiting journey. I struggled during that time, debating if I wanted to continue playing or just go on to the next stage of life, but I decided to give basketball a go one more time. Coach Mary [Evans] and Valpo were a consistent presence in my recruiting journey. I actually was recruited out of high school by Evans at Ohio University but decided to choose a different path. After talking with my family and creating a new plan for my life, I made the decision to come to Valpo, and it ended up being a good one. 

First, I was able to make lifelong friends here, something that I never gained in high school or at my previous college. These people were with me during my ups and downs and have always had my back. Secondly, I am able to earn a Master’s in Public Health degree for free, and this degree will help me towards my life goals of wanting to go to medical school and become an oncologist and cancer epidemiologist. Finally, I have learned some life lessons and have gained so much knowledge from playing this sport again. I have learned to persevere through every struggle that I experience and to never give up. That is evident by me still playing here today. I have also learned to be an efficient communicator both on and off the court. Talking and listening on the court leads to chemistry, and success and communication off the floor leads to understanding and growth in relationships. I have learned how to work together as a team and have great teamwork, even when things start to go sour during the season. All of these things will help me toward my future, as I hopefully move on to medical school and beyond, and have helped me grow and mature as a human being.

I would like to thank Evans for giving me a second chance to play a sport that I have been playing for the last 14 years. I appreciate her for taking a chance on me, and for not giving up on me as a player and as a person. I am a big planner, and I would have never thought in a million years that I would have ended up here — a huge hitch in my plans. But, I would like to say that I am glad that I did. Playing sports in college sets you up for success in the long run, and I am happy to say that I stuck it out and played until the end. 

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