WBB: A day in the life of an athlete; a freshman’s perspective on the transition from high school to college

I’ve been playing basketball for the past fifteen years of my life. When I first stepped on the court competitively in second grade, I had no expectations of how the season would go. I figured it was going to be me and my friends playing basketball together, but there is an aspect beyond basketball.

After playing basketball all of my life, there were definitely expectations for the season both on and off the court.

However, college basketball was not at all what I expected it to be. I expected to step on the court, ball my heart out and make a couple of friends along the way. This was not exactly what happened throughout the season.  

Through preseason, we had regular workouts where we began our journey as a team. This is where I first started to learn that college basketball is completely different from high school basketball. 

It takes a lot more commitment than high school. The practices get longer, the lifts become harder, and on top of that, the school work grows and becomes harder.

I also didn’t expect the relationships I developed with my teammates. In high school, you spend a small amount of your day with your teammates. In college, you spend almost every minute with them, and in my case I lived with one of them. The relationships you develop with them become more personal and the family component becomes bigger.  

We participated in events that really built us as a family and gave us a better perspective on what being a student-athlete means to the people of the community. 

During the season, we had the opportunity to go to one of the inner-city schools and host a mini-clinic for the younger kids. 

Being able to interact with kids who did not have the same opportunities as I did when I was younger was very rewarding and made me more appreciative for the childhood that I had. 

Sharing the amount of passion I had with underprivileged children was not an opportunity I had in high school. This left a huge impact on me and showed me that there really is a bigger picture behind our team and what we stand for. 

In addition to that clinic, we also teamed up with our rival, King’s College, to host a clinic for the kids of Wilkes-Barre. 

Being a member of this team and participating in these events demonstrated how much this team means to the community and how much of a family this entire community really is. 

This family aspect coincided with the game of basketball still. Wilkes’ family connection expanded to off the court as well. 

I vividly remember after the Misericordia game when our coach sat us all down and told us that our teammate’s father had passed. 

A huge wave of emotion passed over the room; we all felt loss that day. Two days later, we all went to her father’s funeral. Never even meeting the man, the emotion of seeing my teammate next to her father’s casket overwhelmed me and caused me to empathize with her. 

Most of my teammates felt the same way. We all felt the pain of losing one of our own.  

College basketball has been a challenging experience due to the transition and adjustment from high school, but what our team stands for and what we have done through the season for our community shows that a day in the life of an athlete is not one that is normal.