Tell me your story at Smith.
I felt like choosing Smith was a different path that nobody had ever taken before, coming from my background. My path is destined for greatness. I wanted to come here and win championships and do something that hasn’t been done before, at the birthplace of women’s basketball, and be at a college that is for women but also have the opportunity to network in the Five College system. That was the biggest thing that sold Smith for me. But when I got here, it wasn’t an easy road at all.
You can talk to my mom, you can talk to my coaches, you can talk to my teammates that have graduated. It wasn’t easy, not so much because of the academics. Smith is a very rigorous school, and our coaches work very hard to respect that balance between athlete and student. I thought my social life was going to be a lot different. I thought the support from my team was going to be different than what I expected, and this wasn’t what I expected. It was really hard for me to deal with that. On top of that, basketball has always been my release. Winning is fun, and we weren’t winning, at all. I felt alone, I was by myself, and I really wasn’t friends with anyone and didn’t know anyone like that. It’s easy to reach out to people who look like you. When I first came to Smith [on a recruiting visit] there were three or four black people on the team. When I got here, there was only one.
I’m going to flash through a two year period of being not mentally healthy, low-key depressed, having a lot of anxiety over my experiences. I kind of said enough was enough and I took control of that. I’m thankful for the support that I did have and gained over the years. One of my teammates, Mandy Castro, who was a phenomenal person, helped me through that, and Tavorsia Talley. Those are two people I really became close with, and another wall hit when they both were gone.
And I was essentially now the "only" on my team.
It was really hard for me because I had to figure out a way to connect with a team that I felt like didn’t really know the real me. I was more reserved. I wasn’t myself.