Academic Elite Session 1: Freshman familiar with uncharted territory

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This session has offered a great opportunity for talented players from all across the country to square up and showcase their individual skills in front of college coaches. With the group including a handful of seniors looking to land a scholarship offer before their approximating graduation, underclassmen in attendance have been few and far between.

However, one particular freshman looking to polish his skills has far less in common than his small number of underclassmen counterparts. In fact, he probably has less in common than anyone else in the camp. Coming into this week, freshman Will Rutherford was not just one of the four freshman to attend the session, he was also the lone resident of Bangkok, Thailand to make an appearance in Reading, Pa.

“This will be my second summer living in Thailand. It was a culture shock at first, but over time I’ve been getting for acclimated. We live in a gated community with a number of other foreign and international people. All in all it’s been everything you would expect it to be, it’s weird, it smells weird but the food is great and it’s a safe community,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford will enter his first year at the International School of Bangkok, as the frosh was forced to make the move after his parents received a job in Thailand’s renowned capital. Originally from northern Virginia, he is all too familiar with making cultural adjustments.

For the American-born baller, getting accustomed to Thai culture is one thing, but also having to get used to Thai-style basketball has left yet another obstacle for him to overcome.

“In Thailand we have the NBA three-point line so many people don’t take a lot of them. We also have a 24 second shot clock which makes the game much faster. Shots are up all the time so it’s a lot of high scoring.”

Standing poised against the elder competition that he’s faced this week, Rutherford looks to continue his basketball development in hopes of bringing improved skills back to his home across the Pacific.

“Most of the players are older than me so their faster and stronger, but having to speed up my game has really helped me,” Rutherford stated.

Despite taking his fair share of bumps and bruises to go along with a small dose of adversity, Rutherford has considered this experience as time well spent.

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