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Ethan Buckley - Catcher from Durbanville, Cape Town, South Africa, commits to Linn-Benton Community College, Albany, Oregon.
Try-out trip - the story......
With the assistance and guidance from family friends in Idaho, Ethan departed for The States on 17 April 2022, for a 4 week try-out trip. Prior to his departure, he emailed Coaches and setup try-out sessions with Colleges in and around Idaho and Oregon.
After 36 hours of travel, 4 flight changes, Ethan arrives in Boise, ID.
He used this week to climatize, practice driving on the right side of the road (we drive on the left side in SA) , pump gas on his own, (we have attendants that do this) and work-outs at local, ball parks. He set up his communication tool, a burner phone, as the USA sim cards did not work in his i-Phone. He also confirmed try-outs dates and times with prospective colleges, then planned his itinerary.
WEEK 2 & 3
Over the course of 12 days, Ethan proceeded to spend 40 hours behind the wheel, driving around 2200 miles to try-out at 10 different colleges of which 7 were JUCOS and 3 were NAIA Schools. Ethan got to see and experience unique towns, like Portland, Eugene and Lewiston, and many more. He received lots of positive feedback at the majority of his try-outs and coaches commended his efforts and "balls" for traveling 1000's of miles, all alone, to these try-outs.
Ethan short-listed the schools which appealed to him the most and used this week to communicate with Coaches and wrap up his time in the States. He departed The US on his Birthday, 17 May to return home to Cape Town.
COMMITTING TO COLLEGE
After carful consideration and back-and-forth communication with Coaches, Ethan chose to commit to Linn-Benton Community College, Reining Champions of the NWAC.
Fortunately, Ethan was granted with some healthy Scholarship Money towards his Tuition, however, the biggest cost as an International Student will be the cost of living in the US, as Ethan's rent will more than likely be the same price as his family home in Cape Town, South Africa.
Over the last few months, Ethan has worked 3 to 4 jobs back home, to help save for the enormous expenses that are facing him. Ethan will not be allowed to work in the US on his Student Visa.
As a family we'd obviously like to support this entire process, as much as possible, on our own, however, we know it's near impossible on our weak SA Rand. We'd be grateful for any assistance to lighten the load. As a family, we need to come up with an excess of $1000.00 per month.
Ethan will be sharing a home with 3 other Baseball Players, (so exciting!!!!) he will need to set up home, from scratch, bed, desk, bedding, kitchen goodies.......everything.
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Thank you for taking the time to read Ethan's Journey. Please feel free to share Ethan's story with your friends and family. If you know of any individuals or businesses that like to invest in Student Athletes, please reach out to us on [email protected] or [email protected]
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PS - Follow Ethan on Instagram for updates @ethanbuckley____
Ethan is officially in Albany, OR.Update posted by Cathy Buckley at 06:08 am
Ethan departed Cape Town on 07 September 23h55 and arrived in Portland on 08 Sep at 14h00. Evan, one of his team & housemates picked him up from the airport, took him for lunch, then headed over to Albany, where 4 players are sharing a home. His unpacking started and