The experience of the Fucka family in the United States doubles. After Tatijana's departure in the summer 2020, a student athlete at UAB - The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Rebeka, twin sister, has also recently embarked on this important experience between volleyball and study at Coastal Carolina University.
We could say good blood does not lie since the girls are the daughters of Gregor Fucka, currently a successful basketball coach and former star of the Italian national team with whom he made 162 appearances from 1991 to 2002, winning a silver medal at the 1997 European European Championship and gold in the edition held in France in 1999 as well as countless cups and club championships in Italy and Spain.
While choosing another discipline, it is clear that sport is a family matter having both played at excellent levels in Italy and today arrived in the States to create an important experience both on a volleyball and personal level. To tell you their feelings we decided to do a double interview: happy reading!
STARS AND STRIPS EXPERIENCE
R - How and when the idea and awareness of leaving for the United States as a student-athlete was born? It had been a while that the coach of Coastal Carolina had contacted me, but I never had the courage to leave. I am sincere, my sister's departure made me reflect a lot and since she told me it was an unmissable experience, so not even a year later I decided to embark on this adventure.
T - From you, instead, we want to have an assessment of your experience so far in the United States. If you went back, would you make this choice again? I would make this choice a million times, I really recommend it to everyone! At first it was difficult to adapt to a new culture, but afterwards, when you settle in, everything is easier. In addition, it is very stimulating to be here, because they enhance, give value and reward the fact of being a student-athlete. It is not as complicated as in Italy. In the States, being a sportsman within the academic career is an extra distinctive value.
THE FIRST IMPACT
R - The first impact. What feelings did you have as soon as you arrived here? What impressed you the most? A place, a structure, a habit of Americans. Everything is different here: the habits, the cities, the university, the gyms. There is nothing that can even resemble Italy in the slightest! At first glance I felt a little bewildered, but after a short time I got used to it and now everything is much simpler! The thing that most impressed me is the university campus: it is very large, clean and with beautiful facilities!
T - Let's take a step back with you, to last summer. Do you remember your first days in the United States? I remember very well when I arrived, it was all so different! The thing that most impressed me is the relationship that Americans have with food: people here don't have a lunch or dinner time, they eat when they feel like it, and many times in a hurry and on their feet. Let's say that for them food is not a culture, while for us Italians it is.
R - You are lucky enough to have your twin sister who took this path before you. What did you recommend? My sister was like a guide for me. She helped me with everything from the start, even before I left. She explained to me how the university works, the rhythms of training and some habits of the Americans, and I must say that her advice was very useful.
T - Did you give Rebeka any advice or suggestions before she decided to fly overseas too? I told her that you shouldn't be scared at first because it's hard to join a new team where everyone already knows each other, that you have to be patient with the language and that fter some time everything will be much easier!
EXPECTATIONS BETWEEN SPORTS AND UNIVERSITIES
R - What do you expect from this experience? I expect so many things: to graduate, to learn English, to make new friends and to win with my team! Right now I can't play because I broke my ACL 4 months ago, so I'm doing a lot of rehabilitation to get back on the pitch stronger than before! Being present at every training session and having already attended the first matches, I must say that our team level is very high, so I have high expectations. Girls always have a great desire to work and to win, and it is only in this way that great goals can be achieved. I am so grateful to be on this team!
T - You have faced a very particular and different first season in the USA (as unfortunately everywhere due to the pandemic), for this upcoming season what goals do you have with the team and what do you expect? Our goal is to go to the Conference Tournament and try to make it to the final, and why not go to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, even if it was the year of Covid, the goals were always the same, we managed to go to the Conference Tournment and it was a great success, because this team had not participated in this tournament for 12 years.
We close again with a question for Tatijana:
How did this path affect you? How much has it changed you as a person? It made me appreciate the little things more, when I go home to my family I take advantage of every moment to be with the people I love because then I know that I will be away from them for many months. I consider myself very mature because here you have to make decisions, you have to do all the things when you grow up and try to fend for yourself.