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Off the Court into Books

Off the Court into Books

Chloe Bibby is off the court and hitting the books

By DYLAN DE JONG

Hitting the books back at home with family hardly seems fitting for the life of a star college basketballer.

But Warracknabeal’s Chloe Bibby, who joined American college leagues in 2017, has found herself back in Australia doing just that.

Bibby was forced to fly home to Australia on March 19, following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic subsequently cancelling National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, basketball tournaments across America.

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The 21-year-old basketball star announced last week her decision to move onto a new team, the Maryland Terps, ending a two-and-a-half year term with the Mississippi Bulldogs.

Eager to hit the courts with her new team-mates, Bibby said it was looking unlikely games would return any time soon.

But, despite the situation, she said she was staying positive while taking a break from the game.

Like many other young Australians, Bibby is also working her way through online study at her family home in Victoria.

After accepting a position at the University of Maryland last week, Bibby said she would continue her bachelor’s degree in marketing, studying remotely in Australia.

Without access to a court, she said in her self-isolation she was working to maintain the level of fitness required as an American college basketball player.

“I haven’t been able to get out there and shoot since I’ve been home, but you’ve got to look at the positives, it’s given my body and mind a bit of a break,” she said.

“But I’m itching to get back out there and can’t wait to get on the court and start playing again – hopefully it’s not too much longer.

“I’m still enrolled in school. I’m finishing up my classes for the semester by the end of this month.

“I’ve just been running, going for walks, getting in as much exercise as I can and then coming home doing some homework – then annoying the family.

“Everyone is in the same boat, I’m just making do with what I have and trying to stay strong, fit and healthy.”

Bibby said she was required to sit exams at obscure hours due to time differences. “It’s difficult. I had to get up at 3am to take an exam, but that’s just life, you just do what you’ve got to do – I just make sure I drink like four coffees and I’m good to go,” she said.

Bibby first moved to the United States in 2017 to explore opportunities in a thriving basketball scene.

Busy workload

Since the move, she has taken on a heavy training and study schedule to stay on top of her game and get the grades she needs.

Bibby said the hard work of balancing training with study was worth the end result.

“I wanted to have the whole college experience, and basketball over there is at a different level – it’s a whole different experience,” she said.

“You’re just fully immersed in basketball. It’s your life, and you can get a free education out of it too – I just couldn’t pass at that opportunity.

“It is hectic and it is a lot, but it is worth it at the end of the day.

“I get a degree out of it and I get to play the game I love.”

Bibby said she was missing her life back in the States, but was thankful to be in Australia with her family and parents Adrian and Leigh-anne.

“The whole family is here, it’s a lot of fun. We are taking it as a positive to have the whole family home and spend this time together – it’s been years since we’ve all been in the same house and under the same roof,” she said.

“We don’t know when that will happen again.”

Bibby said she was missing her friends and team-mates, but was staying in contact with them.

“It’s not too bad with the time difference, we can still talk to each other,” she said.

“Other than that, I really miss Chick-fil-A, which is like a 10- million times better version of KFC or McDonald’s – it’s amazing,” she laughed

About to enter her final year of her university degree, Bibby said she hoped to be able to go pro next year.

“I have a year left in marketing at Maryland. After university I want to play pro if I can in Europe, or wherever it may take me,” she said.

“I also want to try to get an internship and see what I like, so I’ve got opportunities after basketball.”

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