Sasa Vuksanovic from Novi Sad was willing to share his experience of studying and playing basketball in America.
Sasa went to America after accepting an offer for a sports scholarship to Prep academy, which helped him learn the language and get into the rhythm to be ready for College.
He explained to us that it is not too difficult to reconcile sports obligations with studying because the professors have an understanding of athletes and there are always people who want to help. "They were available from the beginning, and they helped me a lot to adjust to classes in a foreign language because my English was not the best.
In addition to graduating from college, Sasa made the most of the conditions for sport in America to advance and now plays basketball professionally in Georgia.
1. Introduce yourself, tell us something about yourself.
Hello, I'm Sasa Vuksanovic from Novi Sad. I am 24 years old and I studied in America through a sports scholarship program, where I played basketball. I spent the first year of my studies in Maine, where I went to Prep School after which I went to Junior College or Community College in Texas Weico. After Texas, the journey took me to Wyoming Sheridan, after which I spent the last 2 years in Hawaii, on the big island in Hilo, where I finished my studies and graduated in May 2021.
I currently live in Georgia where I have continued to play professional basketball.
2. How did you decide to continue your education and sports career in America?
I decided to go to America in the third year of high school when my coach offered me the option to continue my studies there and try my luck at basketball. At that moment, I was not ready to leave high school, but I knew that after finishing high school, I would go to America to try myself and see which way it would go.
3. Evaluate the conditions for sports in America from 1 to 10 and how would you compare the level at which the conditions for sports in America are in comparison to Serbia?
If I had to rate the conditions in America on a scale of 1 to 10, it would be an honest 10, because the conditions are really at a high level, and everything is subordinated to the student or athlete. I don't know if it is even possible to compare the conditions for sports in our country and America. We are aware that even professional athletes in our country face many problems, let alone at lower levels. So I would leave that aside, and for the conditions at American universities, as I have already said - 10.
4. Was it difficult for you to adjust to life in America and to harmonize your studies and sports obligations? Do professors have an understanding of athletes?
It wasn’t hard for me to adjust to life in America, it was pretty easy actually. People accepted me right away, and I believe it was because of the people who come around the world and who are always there to help. The first week was a little harder until I met people and the place, but after that, new friendships were formed quickly. The advantage of that is that in the new environment you can present yourself in the light you are now, without looking back at the past.
In essence, it is not so difficult to reconcile sports obligations and faculty because everything is subordinated to athletes and professors have always had an understanding for us. They were available to me from the beginning and helped me a lot to adapt to teaching in a foreign language because my English was not the best. In general, both athletes and coaches from America remained in my fondest memories. Of great importance is the help they call a personal advisor. He is a man who is in charge of compiling classes for you, when and where you will have which class, which concentration to choose, and so on. What I liked is that everything is subordinated to the athlete but they don’t look at you as an athlete but as an individual for themselves and the student.
5. How would you rate the entire experience in America, what do you remember best, and is this program something you recommend to others?
I had a wonderful experience and a beautiful 5 years in America. I can’t say I’ve experienced anything bad. I didn't have any problems… the biggest problem was the distance from family, friends, and hometown, but you are adaptable, and if you try to achieve what you came for, then it comes easier. I remember the places I visited and people of course in my fondest memories. Different cultures, getting to know them, food, and their way of thinking. It will stay with me for the rest of my life, and that is why I would recommend the sports scholarship program in America to anyone who has a desire for all of the above and who is still thinking or in any doubt whether to leave or stay in Serbia to study.
I would tell young people that if they have an offer for a scholarship in America, they should decide on this move because it will help them mature as a person faster, it will help them get to know themselves better, live beautiful moments, work on themselves, and that will help them a lot in the future.Saša Vuksanović, basketball player
6. What advice do you have for young athletes who are thinking about going to study in America through a sports scholarship?
From my personal experience, I would tell young people that if they have an offer for a scholarship in America, they should decide on this move because it will help them mature as a person faster, it will help them get to know themselves better, live beautiful moments, work on themselves, and that will help them a lot in the future.