Student travels across the world for Husker basketball
HOME: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
HOBBIES: BASKETBALL, TELEVISION, OBSERVING NEW CULTURES
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Many international students have traveled far for their education, but few can say they’ve come almost eight thousand miles to play basketball.
Enter sophomore Tai Webster, who has been playing as a shooting guard for the Huskers since 2013.
Webster, 19, humbly explained that he happened to be a top scorer for his team in a tournament in New Zealand his senior year of high school. After that, schools in the U.S. started contacting him to play overseas.
“I had never heard of Nebraska before in my life, I Googled to see where it was,” Webster said, laughing.
Webster was not the first in his family to play abroad. His father played basketball at the University of Hawaii.
“I knew I wanted to come to the States to play basketball,” Webster said.
The transitions from warm New Zealand to the frigid Midwest wasn’t an easy for one.
“The weather, for one, is colder,” Webster said, smiling. “And it’s a different lifestyle, everything (in New Zealand) is laid back and everything here happens so quickly.”
However, one thing that really blew away Webster was the interest in basketball in Nebraska. Currently the sport is on the rise in New Zealand, he explained.
“It’s crazy, I’ve never played on a team that has had this much support. It gets me every time,” Webster said.
The relationships built with his teammates have also helped his transition to Lincoln.
“The guys on the team are like brothers to me,” he said.
Although Webster has two more years left with the Huskers, he is already looking forward to his future with basketball.
“That’s the dream, staying in the U.S.” Webster said. “We’ll see how it goes, and take it one day at a time.”