by J’Kyra Brown
My experience at UVA was like none other.
Coming here, I knew I had to work for everything I wanted to achieve, from the school work to the basketball court. I can say it was no walk in the park, but I know I got everything that I worked for. Since being here, I can say I’ve grown a lot. I’ve learned life lessons that I will carry with me the rest of my life. I’ve met so many people that I will never forget.
I was fortunate enough to play with a good group of girls over the years. Not a lot of basketball players can say they got along with all of their teammates on and off the court. I can say that I am truly thankful for everyone that I have played with during my college experience. There are moments with each and every last single one of those girls that I will not forget. We shared a bond that no one else will ever get to experience. I can honestly say I have sisters that will always have my back and vice-versa.
I thank the coaches for always pushing me in the classroom, the weight room, the training room and of course on the court. Each of the coaches have been in my position at a point of their lives and it feels good knowing they understand what athletes go through on a daily basis.
I can say my decision to transfer to UVA as a sophomore was one of the best decisions I personally have ever made. I was able to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the United States as well as not only playing in the ACC, but having an opportunity to compete for a championship. UVA was a good fit because I wasn’t too close to home, but I wasn’t too far from home either ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘Â¢ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Â¢’Â¬” meaning that all my family were able to come to my games and support me.
The resources here are unbelievable! I spent a good deal of time my first two years here working on my nutrition, which was such an important change and really one of the biggest things that helped change my game.
Over the years, I don’t think I’ve met anyone here who wasn’t selfless. Everyone that I was engaged with here wanted to see you succeed, not just because it was their job, but because it was in their hearts.
Charlottesville has become home-away-from-home for me. I’ve gained relationships here from some of the sweetest people ever. I’ve tried the majority of the food here (I’m very particular about my food, so this is me really stepping outside my comfort zone). I’ve met some of the best fans in the country. With so many fabulous memories, Charlottesville will always have a very special place in my heart.
While I was reflecting on my time here, one word that I can say stuck with me, from the moment that Coach B called and offered me a scholarship, to this moment is “Thankful”. Being given this opportunity to play was definitely a dream come true. I grew up wanting to play in the ACC and be able to compete with some of the top women’s basketball players and I got that chance. For the rest of my life, I can look back and say that I accomplished one of my lifetime goals, and had some much fun doing it while here at UVA.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends and all the coaches that have made an impact in my life. If it had not been for them, I probably wouldn’t have made it to this level of competition. My upbringing allowed me to stay thankful and humble no matter what situation faced me.
Thank you, UVA and fans for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful tradition. I vow to continue to be as tenacious on and off the court.