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UD, Fairmont grad Cassie Sant signs with Italian hoops team
DAYTON -- Recent University of Dayton graduate and a four-year standout on the Flyer women's basketball team, Cassie Sant will continue her basketball career, playing professionally overseas. She signed a contract to play for Virtus La Spezia, an A1 Division team based in La Spezia, Italy which is located about four hours north of Rome.
Sant reached out to former Flyers who have experience playing in Europe before making her final decision.
"They definitely influenced my decision to go," said Sant. "It's a once in a lifetime experience not many people get."
Sant experienced Italian culture last summer when she traveled with the UD women's basketball team for a tour. The Flyers spent seven days in Italy with stops in Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona and Lake Como. In addition to playing three games, Dayton players and coaches spent time sightseeing at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel.
With Italy being known as a mecca for artists, the destination proves to be very favorable for Sant, who graduated from UD with a degree in visual communication design and has created many pieces of her own, including several that were featured on ESPN nationally-televised broadcasts. The opportunity to play basketball and explore the art world adds to Sant's anticipation.
"With Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, the Colosseum, and so much more, an art major could not ask for a better place to be," Sant said. "I'm excited to explore and sight see and maybe create some more of my own art."
She will embark on this chance of a lifetime without familiar faces cheering in the stands.
"The hardest part for me will definitely be being away from my family. I've never been more than a 20-minute drive from home," Sant said. "My family and friends have played a huge role in my life being my supporting crew for my entire career. With them being time zones away and separated by an ocean, it will be an adjustment."
Head Coach Jim Jabir has confidence Sant will be successful at the next level.
"I think Cassie is incredibly skilled and has a good understanding of the game. She has a good sense of how the Europeans play because she is similar in her abilities," he said. "She has great size and runs well and those are all things that Europeans look at. Her understanding of the game, her intelligence, and the way she passes the ball are all things that make her very important."
Sant played in 117 games during her Flyer career, averaging 7.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg, including a career-best 10.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg her senior year. During her tenure, UD went 95-30 overall, won the program's first Atlantic 10 Tournament title, earned two A-10 Regular Season championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four years.
Sant will continue her success on the court in a country which has so much to offer in so many different aspects of her life.
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