by: NICK ALVARADO/Editorial Assistant
Being far from home can be tough for anyone.
From Levelland to the Belarusian capital, Minsk, it is 5,706 miles.
For Belarus native Yanina Inkina, she feels right at home at SPC.
“I was playing on the junior national team for a few years,” Inkina said. “I took pride in a lot of competitions of different kinds.”
Inkina also says that she felt proud of the experience, since only 12 players are able to be on the junior Belarus national team.
Originating from Belarus, Inkina said that she found it hard at first to adapt to being at SPC with the thought of being far away from home. But she soon felt more confident, and says she feels good.
“Everything is different,” Inkina said. “When I came here, people were so hospitable, funny, and it was so easy to make new friends.”
Inkina is an only child. She says that her parents have been very supportive of her during her basketball career.
“I appreciate it so much,” said Inkina. “I talk to them every day. Their support is very important to me during the difficult times, if I don’t have a good game. And on the opposite, my parents support me if I have a good game. It helps me. My friends and my team back home text and ask about me, and I like it. I don’t feel that really far from home.”
Every athlete has a goal he or she wants to accomplish, or to play for someone special. Inkina has her family and herself to play for.
“I play for myself, but at first I play for my family,” Inkina said. “In the future, I want to be a professional player and earn money. I like basketball very much. I’ve been playing for seven years already. Every game, I try to play hard as much as I can.
With new friends comes more support, and it helps Inkina. “I like new friends over here, and they help me a lot too,” Inkina said. “Coaches support me, and they give me chances every time, and I like it.
Inkina has been a key contributor for the Lady Texans, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. She has scored 121 points this season and grabbed 79 rebounds.
“I like the team, I like the coaches, I like our practices,” Inkina said. “I learned a lot of new stuff, which can help me. I feel strong.”
In her last game, Inkina led all scorers with 16 points and went 5-8 from the floor in a winning effort against Howard College on Feb. 15 at the Texan Dome.
Inkina scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in a winning team effort against Frank Phillips College on Feb. 1. The next game for the Lady Texans will be on Feb. 25 at Western Texas College in the season finale.