Friday, September 2, 2011

Following Your Passion

Playing in Italy 2003.
  Over time, one of my favorite piece of advice has become following your passion. If you follow your heart, the 'universe' steps in on your behalf and leads you in the right direction.
"When you do what you love, the Universe conspires on your behalf." - Oscar Wilde
  Basketball has, and might always be, my passion. And that's how a shy girl from Oregon becomes a professional basketball player in Europe (Shy, as in, I wouldn't answer the phone until I was 11).

  Others probably saw a shy, quiet girl, they thought would never leave Oregon. But I can honestly say I knew I'd be playing pro basketball in Europe from the time I was about 12 years old. It's not a career path you see on a regular basis, and certainly not one you just fall into. But it was the one for me.

Looking down onto Como.
  When I was growing up, there wasn't a women's pro league in the States. But I didn't really care about that. I was going to go wherever I had to, to continue playing. Whether it was in my backyard, to the moon, or across the Atlantic.
  Looking back on it now, basketball was and always has been my outlet. It was my 'thing'.

  Off the court, as a 6'1"-ish 12 year-old girl, I probably wasn't too comfortable (okay, I know I wasn't comfortable at all).

  But put me on a court, or put a ball in my hands, and I was comfortable. I was at ease. I was in my realm. 

  Basketball was what I was meant to do. And by choosing to follow basketball, I have been able to travel the world, experience different cultures, make a living, meet some incredible people, all because of the game.

Francy & Cheru in Como - they took care of me for 2 seasons!
  So after I graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado (Go Buffs!), I didn't follow the status quo.

  Job fairs, resume builders, interviews, that wasn't for me (in hindsight, I wish I would have participated in those things too).

  I knew, to pursue my dream overseas, I needed to find an agent. I was lucky enough to have an assistant coach at CU (who had played 15 years in Europe herself --Tanya Haave) connect me with her agent. That agent, Paco Torres, found me the best job I've had to this day.

  I signed to play in Como, Italy as a rookie in the fall of 2003. It was the start of the best experience of my life.

  Eight seasons, and seven countries later, the rest is history. (Stay tuned for future blogs, and I'll touch on my experiences elsewhere!) 
Me & a teammate Chicca in Como.
  Now, in my ninth season (never thought I'd play that long), I feel as though my basketball career has nearly run its course. We all know that the career of a professional athlete doesn't last forever.

  I have followed my passion for basketball for as long as possible. Now it's time for the next chapter.

  The million dollar question has become: what do you want to do when you're done playing?

  For me, that's an impossible question to answer. After doing what I always wanted to be doing, and what I always saw myself doing, for nine years (and counting), how do you find your second passion, so-to-speak?

Out my window in my first apartment in Como.
  That's where my new-found blog comes into play. It'll be all the other things I have developed an interest in over the years. I'll be thinking out loud, getting my thoughts on paper.

  So I hope you'll join me, and be patient with me, as I converse with you all! You never know where a path may lead til you follow it!

  C'i vediamo dopo...

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  1. It is so nice that you were able to follow your passion, Sabrina. So many people, like me, didn't do that and don't realize it until it's too late to do it.

  2. @maccascruff

    I didn't really realize that's exactly what I was doing until a short time ago, so I am thankful I stuck with it!