Getting to continue my basketball career past college is a dream come true for me. Before finding out I was accepted into the Victory Scholar program, I was mentally preparing myself for a life without any more “competitive” basketball, and it was definitely not fun to think about. When I found out that I was accepted into the Victory Scholar program, I became incredibly excited by the thought of playing at a high level for another year. Alongside this excitement came a lot of nerves. I was scared that basketball might lose some of its magic, as I would not be playing in a familiar Grinnell College uniform. I was very close with my college team and unsure if basketball in a new context would give me the same thrill that it did in college.
Fortunately, basketball has not lost its magic for me at all! I’ve had a great time playing for the NUIG Mystics club so far. Our team consists of a lot of players that have actually not played together for very long, so Amy and I had a very smooth transition into a fresh team. The teammates are an awesome bunch. On bus rides to our away games, I often feel like my teammates are giving me lessons on Irish history and culture. The most pure team bonding happens at strength and conditioning sessions on Wednesday mornings at 7am—aka when we frequently have to run 10 suicides in a row. Last week, a teammate told me that I finally responded appropriately when she greeted me saying, “What’s the craic?” Apparently I’m finally catching on to the Irish lingo!
While our win-loss record is unimpressive on paper, our improvement so far this season is exponential. We are getting closer and closer to our first win every time we play, and we are keeping our heads up! I am blessed to be able to continue my basketball career with this fantastic group of women, and I’m looking forward to our continued improvement this season.