Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Katie Healy)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Katie Healy

Katie Healy Continues to Check Off Her Bucket List in Brazil

August 10, 2021

Dual-sport athlete Katie Healy embarked on a once- in-a-lifetime journey in which she described to be “a dream come true.”

Healy, a rising senior who plays Women’s Basketball and Soccer for John Jay, and leads as a captain for both teams, was selected to be a part of the USA D3 Basketball Select Team-Brazil Tour for 2021. 

The USA Division 3 Basketball Select Team-Brazil Tour is a team of 10-12 D3 college basketball players who are selected across the nation. These players are chosen to represent the United States while playing in Brazil against high-level Brazilian club teams. 

Although the tour has been around for over nine years, Katie Healy was the first women’s basketball player at John Jay to get selected. The second student-athlete after Men’s Basketball alum, Doug Levy, was chosen in 2020.

Levy, having experienced the Brazil Tour himself has high praise for Healy.

“Katie Healy is definitely a great fit for the Brazil Tour because of her character and personality,” he said. “She is a heck of a basketball player combined with her off the court intangibles.”

The moment Healy received the news that she was offered a spot on the select team this past May, she knew she couldn’t pass it up. She described her reaction to the news as a dream come true. “Being that I lost two seasons in one year during the pandemic, when the opportunity to play in Brazil was presented, I couldn’t miss it,” Healy said. “It was an amazing feeling reading that email and I am forever grateful to have been a part of such an incredible experience.”

This past July, Healy and the men and women’s select teams took off to begin their journey in Brazil. “I was so excited to leave for Brazil,” Healy said. “Especially being that it was the first time I ever traveled outside of the United States, and I was able to do it while playing the sport I love.” They took a flight to Orlando and then one to Houston which then led them to São Paulo, Brazil. They stayed there for a few days until they made their way to Rio.

In Brazil, Healy and her team won three of the four games they played. 

(Katie Healy)

During her stay in Rio, she learned all about the history of Brazil and was able to see various tourist attractions there as well. She was also able to taste the different types of foods and desserts that Brazil is known for. In addition, Healy and her team were able to run a youth clinic at the Flamengo Club for the Basquete Cruzada children.

Although getting to experience playing in a different country was a dream for Healy, there were still multiple obstacles she and her team had to face along the way to achieve the outcome they did. 

Not only was this their first time meeting one another, but the team also had never played together before arriving in Brazil. And they were also unable to have practiced before their first game.

“Even though we never played together and couldn’t have our practice session, we somehow formed a quick bond that not only helped us to succeed on the court but left us with friendships that will last a lifetime,” Healy said.

Another obstacle that came as a surprise to the team was finding out that Brazil had different rules than those they were familiar with in the United States. “The games were definitely intense being that we had to remember a bunch of new rules that we only learned an hour before our start time,” Healy said. “Thankfully, we were able to learn from the mistakes we made playing in the first game and really pulled through together.” 

Healy explained that there was something special that she held close to her heart in Brazil that kept her mentality positive and fearless throughout her trip. John Jay Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lynda Day surprised Healy with letters she had personally written for Healy to open at specific points throughout her trip.

“The first letter Coach Day sent me said to open it on the plane ride to Brazil. It had a bracelet in it that read, ‘Never give up time to be great.’” The following letters were said to be opened before each game and the final letter was at the very end of the trip.  “The letters really helped me throughout the trip. It made me feel as if I had my coach with me, even though she wasn’t actually there and that was a great form of encouragement,” Healy added.

Having completed the Brazil Tour, Healy feels extremely grateful that she was able to successfully represent not only the United States but John Jay College as well. She spoke highly about what playing in Brazil has taught her. “I learned so much about creating a higher sense of responsibility especially being that I went to play overseas on my own,” she said. “I learned about new rules, the challenges of language barriers, and most about the capability of creating lifelong friendships through sports.” 

When asked what her advice would be to not only basketball players but athletes all across the board who may someday be in her shoes, Healy explained what some of her favorite motivational mottos are. “To those younger than me or who may someday be in my shoes, simply never give up, work hard when no one else is watching, and stay humble,” she said.

Katie Healy is now continuing to work hard and prepare for her next and final soccer season, which will be starting at the end of August. She will take with her the values she has learned while playing overseas and be able to share that with both of her teams. 

“I’m ready to make the transition into soccer now and win our next championship,” Healy said.

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    Jim MegnaAug 10, 2021 at 11:26 am

    Very well written, informative, interesting to the end.
    What is always good to see in this kind of descriptive writing about someone is the personal reactions of Kati . Quoting the person you are writing about makes the read even more engaging. Well done Nina you have a special gift in writing.