At 6’1″, she stands tall on the court, ready to entertain and play each night at Moore Field House as a forward for Southern’s Women’s Basketball Team.
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Katie Williamson, a junior, came to Southern to study early elementary education. She hopes to become an educator and bring her passion for interpersonal connections and experiences back home.
First introduced to basketball as a teen, she played for her high school in Ireland, Colaiste Pobail Setanta College. Williamson racked up an impressive streak playing for the U20 Irish National Team and was named Two-time Under 19 All-Ireland Division C Most Valuable Player while serving as the assistant captain of her Under 18 squad.
Williamson was recently featured in an SCSU Athletics project, “The Owl Chronicles,” which features different Southern Connecticut State University student-athletes.
Following is an interview with Williamson, who describes her time at Southern, playing basketball, and St. Patrick’s Day traditions.
What got you into basketball and why?
I always played a lot of sports growing up, but I could never find one I really enjoyed, until my final years in elementary school when I decided to pick up basketball since I had height on my side. I fell in love with the sport and had a talent for it and ever since then, I have played it.
What inspired you to come here to Southern to further your education?
What inspired me to come to Southern was the opportunity to further my education since they have a great teaching program and, of course, continue my career in basketball. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
How long have you been in the United States, and what have been the greatest differences compared to home?
I have been in the United States for around three years now, and I have come across so many similarities and many differences, of course, what I found the most bizarre is that everyone over here drives on the opposite side of the road.
Also what I found interesting was that there are a few differences in basketball rules which were something I never really thought would be something to think about as I thought it was the same for everyone.
What has it been like studying in the United States and more specifically, New Haven, in comparison to Ireland?
I don’t see many differences in studying in the United States compared to Ireland as I only know college life over here in the States, but compared to my friends it seems as though classes are a lot smaller over here in the States, as there would be hundreds of people in one lecture at home.
How different is Ireland from other European countries?
Ireland of course is a very well-known country, but as compared to other European countries we all have our own traditions and positive attributes, and obviously, I am biased coming from Ireland, as it is a beautiful country with strong traditions.
How did your family react when you decided you wanted to study in the United States and Southern?
My family was of course shocked as I was moving halfway across the world, but they have been nothing but supportive and incredibly proud of me, so it is nice to know that I have support and makes it totally worth it.
What are your professional and career aspirations? How has Southern helped you achieve your goals so far?
My aspirations are to become a teacher, and Southern has helped me achieve my goals by supporting both my teaching and basketball career, as many professors are so understanding and would do anything to help you in order to succeed.
Has there been someone here at Southern who you can credit for your success?
I would have to give credit to my three great coaches — Kate Lynch, Stephanie Hiriak Lund, and Imani Wheeler — who are constantly supporting me to be the best possible person I can be both on and off the court. I would also have to give credit to the Athletic Department, which is also so supportive and has given me many amazing opportunities.
Do you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? How are celebrations here in comparison to Ireland?
Of course, I have to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I wouldn’t be a true Irish if I didn’t.
The celebrations are similar, as everyone is more than excited to celebrate the Irish, but you don’t know a real Paddy’s Day until you have celebrated at home, the celebrations are times a thousand as we take a lot of pride to be Irish.
Click here to watch a video interview with Williamson.