As most people now know Sport Changes Life and the Victory Scholars Program offers an incredible opportunity to continue one's educational and athletic career while also beginning many of our coaching careers. These truths aside, one aspect I was most excited about was the chance to be able to live in Ireland and travel the world. Growing up in New York and spending the majority of my time in the northeastern United States I’ve always had a dream of leaving to travel abroad and experience new cultures. While Sport Changes Life offers me a chance to live out this dream I would be remiss if I didn’t credit all the people who got me to this point, the same people I am leaving behind in America in my pursuit of endeavors abroad.
During my time at Wesleyan University I was blessed to meet many interesting and wonderful people who challenged me both athletically and intellectually to realize my potential and put me in the best position to achieve it. Along with my coach, Joe Reilly, I was honored to represent Wesleyan with some of the best teammates a person could ask for. While these guys won’t be alongside me here in Ireland, they have built me up to grasp this opportunity as best I can and set a standard for how the game of basketball should be played that I intend to instill upon the players here.
Before I was a Victory Scholar, a college athlete or even a varsity high school player, I was just a kid with a ball shooting hoops in a driveway in New York. I was a kid who would stay out to shoot until the sun went down, then after that, when the only thing visible was the flourescent white net, would shoot some more. The people who put the ball in my hands, built that hoop in the driveway, and inspired a tireless work ethic, were my family. They too, while not being able to look out the window at that young kid in the driveway shooting into the night, will be right here with me as they are the drive, motivation and focus I feel everyday. So while I am sad to be away from those I care about during my time here in Ireland, I take solace in knowing that they have been a massive part of shaping who I am today and that if I can impact these kids they way they have impacted me, I will have done my part.