A Bosnian trade university student who dominated significant school basketball courts for two years in Mineral Wells is bringing her prodigious expertise to Weatherford.
Hena Spahic signed a letter of intent to go to Weatherford College on a whole scholarship that involves tuition, guides, food, shelter and transportation.
“Hena is a great university student, a terrific ballplayer and has a superb character,” reported Doug Jefferson, administrator at Neighborhood Christian University, where by Spahic attended in her junior and senior decades. “I’ve been doing this for 13 several years, and she is one particular of the most amazing men and women to ever graduate from in this article. She is an outstanding youthful lady.”
Spahic grew up in Zenica, Bosnia, located in southeastern Europe. Natives there discuss Bosnian but commence finding out English in 3rd grade. Spahic speaks English and a half-dozen other languages with simplicity. She began taking part in club basketball at age 8 and displayed a natural ability along with a stout work ethic.
“I experienced coaches at a youthful age that observed a thing in me and gave me the ball,” she mentioned. “It took place variety of normally. Since then, I have been functioning genuinely challenging. It is not just talent, it’s also the challenging work you place in.”
Modern day technologies fostered the girl’s aspiration to occur to The usa and play skilled basketball in the WNBA. She spent her early a long time surfing the world wide web and observing videos about American metropolitan areas and basketball.
“When I was small, YouTube was a big offer,” she reported. “I would go to YouTube all the time and look up various international locations and metropolitan areas.”
Video clips about everyday living in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and other lively cities fascinated her. She grew to become a common follower of persons who posted films about American lifetime.
“The folks, the society, just anything form of opened my eyes,” she mentioned. “I just liked it. I’m a large enthusiast of foods. The meals was a little something that attracted me.”
She learned the WNBA, as well, and commenced observing game titles on the internet.
Her mom preferred her to go to a university in Germany, but Spahic resisted. She told her mother, “I’m likely to go to the United States and participate in basketball and get a superior vocation and have superior funds.”
After she started out higher school in Bosnia, Spahic appeared into starting to be an trade college student. Her aunt and uncle reside in Burleson and agreed to develop into her host spouse and children though she attended a private college there and played basketball beneath Mentor Brian Rodricks.
Rodricks, however, remaining that college and approved a work at Neighborhood Christian.
“He introduced me with him,” Spahic explained.
In 2019, she became Neighborhood Christian’s 1st foreign exchange scholar in about 25 yrs. The faculty uncovered a area household to host her. Considering that then, the faculty has taken in two additional trade college students and broadened its software.
“We would love to get the phrase of God into everyone, and if that implies bringing pupils from other nations around the world, we would appreciate to do that,” reported Lisa Ballenger, the assistant basketball mentor.
Spahic was 16 when she headed for the terrific unidentified. It was August. The temperature was in the 40s when she boarded a plane in Bosnia. She landed in Texas, and the 100-degree warmth and humidity strike her like a two-by-4 to the facial area.
“It was awful,” she claimed.
She’d hardly ever lived in a house with air conditioning. Bosnia temperatures hardly ever go larger than the 70s. The chilly air blowing on her at evening built her unwell.
“It took over a 7 days to alter,” she recalled.
She uncovered that Mineral Wells did not resemble those video clips she’d witnessed about New York Metropolis and Los Angeles. She wasn’t upset. She found that individuals in Mineral Wells and in Texas are keen to provide support and appreciate to a stranger from a weird land.
Lots of Bosnians have survived rough times and tend to be more clannish and careful, she explained.
“In Bosnia, like is not truly a large point besides from family members,” she said. “Support isn’t that major, both. Everyone focuses on them selves. I wasn’t made use of to currently being surrounded by people that cherished other individuals similarly. Coming below was seriously a transform for me.”
She hopes to stay below without end.
“Taking that phase and coming to the United States pushed me and gave me hope,” she explained. “I’m going to get the job done tricky and make my way up to being below and turning out to be a U.S. citizen.”
Her do the job ethic, already remarkable, went up a notch when she settled in Mineral Wells. She lifts weights and jogs on a normal foundation, eats nutritious meals and performs basketball day by day.
She was one particular of the greater gamers in Bosnia and remained so at Local community Christian, which competes in the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship league. She was not positive how she would evaluate up to her new friends but figured she’d hold her individual.
“I am a self-confident particular person,” she reported. “That does not suggest I’m not anxious about actively playing and coming to a complete new natural environment, but I was assured I would do superior.”
She was right.
All through her time at Mineral Wells, Spahic averaged 24 points and 7 helps a sport. The Lady Warriors came up short on a state title bid in 2020 but won it all in 2021.
“Last yr, we were being fantastic but not as very good as this year,” she reported. “We worked more durable independently more than the summer. We obtained improved.”
Usually, the top rated basketball players look at it a milestone to get to 1,000 points during their three or four years used actively playing varsity ball. Spahic arrived at 1,000 factors in two several years. Also, she achieved an extraordinary feat by being named the Most Worthwhile Participant of her district, her league and the league’s all-star team in equally seasons she performed.
Texas Tech, UTA, Texas Condition, Tarleton and Weatherford Faculty took detect and dangled provides. Spahic could have long gone to one of the even larger educational institutions as a freshman but determined to “take the time to build as a player, a individual and a student and get much better at what I do and then move on to a more substantial school.”
She will main in kinesiology.
“Physical remedy has been a substantial offer for me simply because I have had some injuries in the previous, and I have been by way of a great deal of actual physical therapists,” she said. “I’m intrigued in how my system functions and how to avoid injuries and mend them and how to support other athletes when it will come to that.”
In August, Spahic will transfer into a dormitory on the Coyotes campus and start off her college profession. Ballenger has no question that her star player from high school will glow just as brightly in higher education.
“She performs really hard each individual single working day,” the mentor stated.