I will forever remember the day that I received the news that I was going to get the opportunity to become a Victory Scholar. It was a rainy Saturday morning; I was getting ready to study for finals. Naturally, studying for finals was the last thing a senior in college or anyone for that matter wants to do, so I decided to check my e-mail and procrastinate for a while. Who would have thought that procrastination would have such a positive outcome. Looking back now I think the rainy weather was “gift with purchase’’ that came with the acceptance email to give me the full Irish welcome.
The inner child leaped out of me, and I literally jumped up and down screaming in my dorm room. I was chosen to continue my basketball career, further my education, and volunteer with the youth through my sport: it just felt too good to be true. I immediately called one of my best friends who had previously been a victory scholar, Katie Ganser. She had been the senior captain my freshman year of college, and continued to be a role model for me after she graduated. After the positive experience that she had with Sport Changes Life, I knew that this program was something that I wanted to pursue.
Once I told Katie she immediately started planning her trip to come to visit me. I did however; start to feel a little guilty for not calling my parents first. So, Katie and I came up with a creative way to tell them: I texted them a picture of the Aer Lingus logo and told them they should probably book a flight. Minutes later, a Face time filled with screaming “No Way!!! Did You Get In?” engulfed my dorm room. The best reaction of the day however came from my brother. I Face timed him and his girlfriend, and half way through his excitement he starting crying. I can honestly say that I have maybe only seen my brother cry once before, so this is a rarity. He has so much love for the game of basketball and for his younger sister. He wanted it for me as much as I did. He is a true inspiration to me, and has helped me through my journey as a player and a person.
I did ultimately get back to studying, but not before my roommates got shhh’d in the library for screaming over Face time, or from the texts that I received from my other family members. I was embraced with so much love. Needless to say, by the end of the day I had lost my voice, and I’m pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my face for smiling and laughing so much…. But it was totally worth it.