By ONE2ONE Team
We sat down with Essex guard Rory Winter to ask five quick questions about how university in England measures up to being in a Junior College in the States…
Rory Winter was a standout junior player at Ipswich Basketball Club and IBA Copleston, where his successes on-court earned him a spot at the Deng Camp, international call-ups and an opportunity to play Junior College at Iowa Lakes Community College.
Having completed one year of JuCo, Rory opted to come home and take a place at the University of Essex (for whom his debut season has just wrapped-up) – making him an ideal person to compare the two experiences, and share them with young prospects who may also be weighing-up heading stateside in the near future…
As a student-athlete, being a student comes first – so can you tell us a little about how the academics compare between here and the states?
The ease of the classes there was one of the biggest differences, to be honest. It was a little bit like being back in high school, and was a significant step forwards coming back to a university setting in the UK.
How about student life?
Socially, isolation was a factor – there was very little to do other than basketball – and the school was extremely small compared to Essex.
On-court, what would you say was the biggest difference?
The pace of play was a lot faster than most of the BUCS teams – despite a longer shot clock – but this was mainly down to our conference being so guard-heavy, whereas the majority of the teams we face in BUCS are a little more positionally-balanced. That being said, there’s a few of the teams in BUCS that play at a similar pace to the competition out in America.
The other stark difference is just the availability of facilities and volume of practices. In the states, the court was always available, and we would have a two hour practice – minimum – every day, other than on recovery days after back-to-back games.
So what would you say is the most similar between the two levels?
The standard of coaching both at Essex and in the States is consistently high, as is the framework within which we work as athletes.
And is there anything which you think is of a higher standard here?
Without question, we have much better quality facilities here at Essex – and the same can be said for a few of the schools we compete against… it’s just that we have a relative lack of access to use them compared to being back out in the States.
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