Basketball player Inma Bautista, who has signed with one of the game’s top clubs in the UK, has graduated from her university studies.
She combined her degree in Economics, Business and Finance with high-level basketball.
“It is an amazing feeling to be a graduate,” said the 21-year-old, who hails from Spain. “I never thought I would finish my university degree in another country and in another language. I am so proud that I made that happen and that I overcame the challenges successfully.”
Inma, who plays at point guard, recently got signed for a professional contract with the Gloucester City Queens. The club is in its debut season in the Women's British Basketball League, the highest division of women's basketball in the country. “At the moment I am just enjoying my time playing basketball professionally as it is what I have always wanted to do,” she said. “Academically, I have always wanted to work in a role related with the stock exchange, investing and analysing the markets so I would love to work on that in the future.”
Inma is one of around 3,000 graduands who will graduate from the University in the historic Worcester Cathedral next week. Her venture to the UK made her the first student to attend as a result of a longstanding partnership between the University of Worcester and Spanish club, Valencia Basket.
Alongside her studies, Inma combined basketball training and matches for the Worcester Wolves Women’s Basketball side, which is one of three teams in the University-owned franchise. She said: “At the start it was very difficult, but, once I got used to it, it went pretty well if I am honest. Time management is essential when you are a student athlete, so over those years I was able to manage my time better and better. I really liked my modules, so I enjoyed every year of my degree. Some of those modules made me realise even more what I wanted to do in my future, so I am really happy I chose the University of Worcester. I feel I have gone out into the real world with all the necessary knowledge ready to take on the next challenge.
Growing up in Ciudad Real, in Spain, Inma started basketball at school when she was eight years old. Six years later, Valencia Basket, coaches spotted her talent at a basketball camp and offered her the chance to train with their ladies junior side, which she did for two years. This led to Inma’s participation in three Worcester / Valencia annual basketball summer camps held at the University. Impressed by the facilities and prestige of the University, Inma went on to choose it for her studies.
Despite a month of English language lessons before even starting her degree, Inma acknowledged the language barrier had been difficult at first. “That was definitely my biggest challenge I believe,” she said. “I came with a basic level of English so it was very difficult at the start. However, thanks to all the friends I made, that barrier was disappearing as the days went by.
“I just want to thank the big link the University of Worcester and Valencia Basket Club has, because without it I wouldn't be here right now. I am so grateful and I just can't thank enough all the coaches, teammates and people that helped me during these years.”
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