For those who don’t know me my name is Becca Greenwell, I’m from Owensboro, Ky., and I’m a freshman on the Duke women’s basketball team. I’m going to be writing this blog every couple of weeks this season to give you readers updates on my life as a student-athlete, my rehab process and also on the DWB squad.
Growing up, the idea of playing for a top women’s basketball program was always a dream of mine and now that I’m actually a freshman living out this dream, it’s a humbling feeling. It still hasn’t really hit me yet that I go to Duke, one of the best colleges in the world for academics and a traditional basketball powerhouse.
Duke is a special place and it hasn’t taken me long to realize that. It’s still crazy to me the people you see walking around campus on a normal basis. Oh hey, Coach K, what’s up? Or such as recently when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were right beside me in the training room getting ready for their first day of training camp for the Brooklyn Nets. Things like this still amaze me, but at a place like Duke it’s completely normal.
My transition to thus far has been an exciting and awesome experience. After just three months here, I can honestly say I love it and Duke is a perfect fit for me.
Coming from a close family, the idea of being 10 hours away from home was a little intimidating. But with the help of the staff and my new teammates, the transition has been easy and a lot of fun. Adjusting to my new life as a student-athlete was a little overwhelming at first, I’m not going to lie. As a freshman, you’re kind of just thrown on campus and given a million responsibilities all at once.
Balancing class, homework and workouts was hard at first, but now that it’s a daily routine, it’s a lot easier. It’s easy to fall behind with so much going on, so staying on top of everything and time management is key. If I could describe life as a student-athlete in one word it would definitely be “busy.”
My older sister, Rachel, who played college basketball, would always tell me that naps were essential in college, and I never really understood her until now. Days when I get to take naps are truly the best. I’ve now realized that 30 minutes of free time is a blessing, and in fact enough time for a power nap.
The one thing I'm probably adjusting to the most is being on my own. Before coming here my mom would always tell me, “Becca, you’re never going to survive college, you need me.” And just like my sister, I never truly understood her either, until now.
Each day it feels as if I’m discovering a new fact of life I never knew before. Who knew milk spoiled so fast, bread molds after only a month, clothes don’t come out of the drier folded, or that you couldn’t use milk as a substitute for water in Keurig coffee makers (I think I may have made cottage cheese instead)? So maybe my mom was right … but I’m getting better.
I first arrived on campus in July for summer school, along with my three fellow freshies (Kendall, Kianna and Oderah) and spent six weeks taking two classes, having workouts, getting to know the team and getting adjusted to life as a student-athlete. It didn’t take long to realize the huge differences between high school and college. Classes, workouts, weights, basically every aspect is much more demanding.
The biggest difference is probably academics. Before getting here, I was terrified at the thought of having to take Duke classes, but with the amount of academic resources offered here I realized they were definitely manageable. Our academic coordinator, Heather, helps us keep up with everything. With the help of study hall, tutors and a lot of hard work, I managed to do surprisingly well in both of my summer classes and am doing well in current ones as well.
This summer at Duke was definitely successful and the team and I accomplished a lot. We had team workouts, individual workouts, pool workouts, agilities, spin class, weights and conditioning throughout the week, which only made us better. We worked hard all summer getting stronger and in better shape.
Even with my busy schedule over the summer I still found time to have some fun! I managed to get to two country music concerts (Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney), hang by the pool, explore Durham and also make a lot of new friends with other freshman athletes. Even though I miss Kentucky, I'd have to say I feel pretty at home already.