Jayne Strand ...
Growing up in small town Iowa, I was what you would consider a sports junkie. Soccer, basketball, cross country… you name it, I was playing it. My love for basketball took over as I got older, which is what I pursued in college. I was a late bloomer physically, so it was the best option for me to go the junior college route and develop my skills to chase my dream of playing for a D1 program.
After winning two national championships at the junior college level, I received my dream of getting a full ride D1 basketball scholarship. It was more work than I could have imagined competing at that level, but worth every minute of it. It is true when they say a scholarship is not given, its earned. I eventually got the opportunity to play professionally, which is what brought me here to Australia.
Looking back on my college experience, even more than the sport itself, I loved all the experiences it brought to my life. The life-long friends I made, road trips and travels around the country, late night laughs with friends, going to cheer on the other athletic teams, and pushing harder at practice than I ever thought I could because I had amazing teammates by my side doing the same thing. All while completing a Bachelor’s degree in the degree of my choice. It was an experience that taught me to live my life surrounded by amazing people and to live a life that is truly rich in experiences. Dreams can be achieved and I am a living testimony of that.
Coinciding with my love for sports is my love for adventure. After university I made the choice to jump into the working world. I took a chance and moved to the land of opportunity…sunny Los Angeles, California. I had tons of fun exploring the big city, even landed a spot on the tv show, WipeOut! After three years of exploring and working, I couldn’t get my first love, basketball, off my mind. I knew deep down that’s what I was meant to be doing but the odds were against me to play professionally having taken a break for so long. But that was the desire of my heart and I wouldn’t take no for an answer. After years of hard work and resilience, I finally received an amazing professional opportunity here in Australia that I wouldn’t take back for the world.
My story is an example that dreams can be achieved, but it’s not about me. I have a heart for people and empowering them to chase their vision and dreams. To be your best self, and to truly live life to the full. Athletic endeavours have taken me around the world and I feel blessed beyond measure to be able to help other young athletes be able to do the same thing. Whether you are chasing a D1 dream, or just looking to be a part of a team while completing you’re education in another country, it is a choice you won’t regret. Nothing worth having comes easy. This world has so many opportunities, they are truly yours for the taking. If there is anything I can say to young people, it is to WORK HARD, chase your dreams, surround yourself with great people, and live a life you love. The rest will fall in to place 😉