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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
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Phone: 307-766-2379
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Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

May 2016 | Vol. 17, No. 3

Left: women’s soccer player Alisha Bass of Australia. Right: football player Eric Nzeocha of Germany

Left: women’s soccer player Alisha Bass of Australia. Right: football player Eric Nzeocha of Germany


New Perspectives


International athletes bring new approaches and a diverse set of experiences to the court, field and pool.

By Micaela Myers

Not only do the University of Wyoming’s international students contribute to the campus and classroom environment, but they also contribute in the pool and on the field, court and track. UW is currently home to 34 NCAA international athletes, each bringing different skills and perspectives.

“They love Wyoming, and they love the community,” women’s tennis Head Coach Dean Clower says of the six international athletes on his team. “They bring that sense of pride—that this is a special place to be and they’re lucky to be here.”

That enthusiasm translates into increased fan attendance. “The last four years, we were top 10 in the country for fan attendance,” Clower says. “Every match, they thank people for coming. They do extra with the little kids—teaching them tennis. They’re volunteering at the soup kitchen. They’re giving back to the community to say thanks, and then people start rolling in to see the matches.”

Women’s soccer player Alisha Bass, a sophomore business administration major, brings her enthusiasm for UW all the way from Sydney, Australia. “I’m so happy I chose to come here. It’s an amazing soccer family here—from the coaches to the girls and all the administrators.”

Having players from different countries brings diverse skills, says Pete Cuadrado, women’s soccer head coach, who recruits both in Canada and Australia. “They bring a little bit more technical piece to the team. I think the Americans are very athletic a lot of the time. It’s just a different style of soccer. When you combine both, it makes your team better.”

“It definitely changes up the way we play,” Bass says. “When we bring that all together, I think it really benefits us.”

Track and field junior Kerry White of Te Aroha, New Zealand, agrees. “Having international players brings a lot of diversity to the team,” says the middle distance runner majoring in animal science. “I feel like you can really learn a lot about other people, especially training-wise.”

In addition to competitive benefits, having international players helps American students gain an international perspective that will benefit them professionally. “They bring in and share a view of the world that our kids probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Tom Johnson, head swimming and diving coach, whose teams have seven international players combined. “It has motivated some of my kids to travel abroad. I think it’s encouraged our kids to have a more worldly view.”

Linebacker Eric Nzeocha, a junior business administration major from Neusitz, Germany, followed his brother Mark to play football for UW. He appreciates the different backgrounds international players bring to the team and the field. “You meet people from all over. It brings diversity. You learn more about other cultures, which will help in your future jobs.”

The international athletes cite Wyoming’s outdoor recreational opportunities and the safe, small-town feel of Laramie as selling points, but Alexander Aka Gorski, a sophomore basketball guard from Lund, Sweden, who is majoring in business, says it’s the fans he appreciates most about playing for UW: “Everybody cares so much about the team, even people who live so far away. Everybody keeps up with us and cheers us on. People drive so far just to see a game. We really have some good fans, and that’s great.”

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Alexander Aka Gorski

Alexander Aka Gorski

UW Athletics


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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

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UWyo Archives

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UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

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