Transitions and Triumphs: Reflections on My Transfer Experience

On October 15, 2018, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) opened new opportunities for student-athletes through the transfer portal. This change gives athletes the chance to explore other options when they see fit for a new environment. 

Until recent years, athletes were required to sit out for a year unless receiving a waiver which discouraged them from missing out on new opportunities. However, as of the 2023-2024 collegiate season student-athletes who have transferred more than once now have the ability to immediately start participating in their sport once arriving at their new school. 

Throughout my collegiate basketball experience, I have had the opportunity to play for three different programs because of the transfer portal. My college experience started untraditionally because my freshman year was the 2020-2021 season when COVID-19 was still active and there were strict policies and procedures. 

After my freshman year at Texas A&M didn’t go how I planned for our team or my personal development, I decided it would be best to look for another opportunity elsewhere. After I made this decision and talked with my current coaching staff I decided to enter my name into the transfer portal. 

Once my name was in the portal, coaching staff from other universities began reaching out to see if I would have any interest in joining their program. After many phone calls, I had the opportunity to speak with Arkansas Head Coach Eric Musselman, who had also recruited me in high school. Because I had visited the campus a year prior and could not visit schools during COVID-19, I was more familiar with the facilities and coaching staff which ultimately led to my decision to go there. 

After a historic run to the Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament, I felt that I wanted a bigger role and a chance to be out on the floor and compete. With these goals in mind, I knew I would need to explore a new opportunity elsewhere. I then decided to enter the transfer portal again where I was contacted by coaching staff who were interested. 

Brigham Young University Assistant Coaches Cody Fueger and Nick Robinson reached out showing their excitement to get my family and me on campus for an official visit. In June of 2022, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to come out to Provo, Utah, and meet the coaching staff, see the facilities, and discuss the future.

After battling through so much adversity at my previous stops and struggling to get consistent minutes on the court throughout the years, I felt like the vision that the BYU coaches had for me aligned with my future goals and dreams. This led to an easy decision for me to spend my third and fourth years at BYU. 

From my personal experience, the transfer portal has opened so many doors and opportunities for me to not only grow as a player but also as an individual. Even with its flaws, the portal gives athletes the chance to learn and grow from their previous decisions of possibly choosing a school that isn’t right for them. 

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