It is a rare occurrence to experience a dream come true, which is exactly how BHP senior Helen Tau describes becoming part of the Texas Women’s Basketball roster as a walk-on this year. Helen played basketball in high school and hoped to continue the sport into her college career. She tried out for the team as a freshman, but did not make the cut. Determined to keep basketball in her life, she applied to be a basketball manager for the women’s team every year until she filled the position last year as a junior. Helen was also the only female on the men’s practice squad, a team of players that did not make the team, but still come together to enjoy the sport and scrimmage against the university teams for practice.
It was during a scrimmage that Helen’s abilities were noticed. “The first thing that we noticed right off the bat was Helen’s commitment to our program,” said Karen Aston, head coach of the women’s basketball team “When she said she was going to do something, she followed through with it. Last year she served on a volunteer basis. Her commitment level was phenomenal based on the fact that she wasn’t receiving any benefits from the volunteer work.” (as quoted on texassports.com).
Helen could not be more thrilled to have the opportunity, “It’s completely a dream come true, and I never would have expected this to happen.” To some it may seem that making a drastic change during senior year may throw a student off kilter, but Helen is happy to adjust, “I plan my day around eating and sleeping at the right time so that I’m ready for practice. This is a once in a lifetime chance for me so I want to make the most of it. The physical exhaustion after practice makes doing homework challenging, it’s been a complete lifestyle change, but I’m learning how to find that balance.”
As a senior BHP and Finance major, Helen is grateful for the timing of this opportunity, “I think it’s a good thing it didn’t happen earlier because it would have conflicted with recruiting. It probably would have taken over my college career and I’m happy that I had time to do other things like my internships.”
Helen will suit up for the Texas Women’s Basketball team’s first game against UTSA this Sunday, November 10 at 2pm.