EuroProBasket started working with the University of Essex to provide their players basketball scholarships in Europe.
The University of Essex is located in the UK, one hour from London. EuroProBasket CEO and the University Prep Program players sat down with University of Essex Ross Norfolk – Men’s Basketball Head Coach, Keeley Alvarez – International Admissions Officer and Susy Davies – Performance Sport Manager. Below we summarize the process for applying and receiving a basketball scholarship in Europe with the University of Essex.
The University is particularly well known for social sciences and politics. They rank in the top 5 for both categories and for the category research quality they ranked in the top 25. In 2018 they even won the award university of the year which is an impressive feat considering how many quality universities there are in the UK. The UK in general, and specifically at the University of Essex there is a great student support, quality assurance and high completion rates. You will also receive international experience and be exposed to a great employability rate.
All of this sounds great but why would EuroProBasket collaborate with the University of Essex and offer the possibility of a basketball scholarship in Europe?
Well, the answer is very simple, they offer a great basketball experience. At the University of Essex, they also offer a specialized athlete program with basketball being one of the sports that they offer this to. This will be in combination with your studies but not to worry, you’ll have time to study. The athlete program works around your studies to make sure that you can focus on your classes and your basketball training at the same time.
What is the competition like and how many games do you play?
The basketball program at the University of Essex offers a ton of games. Wednesday is game day, and, on the weekend, there is also another game. On Wednesday you play in the “BUCS” league which is the competition where you will be competing against other universities. They also have a first and second division. On the weekend you’ll be competing in NBL division 1 or NBL division 3 depending on your experience level.
NBL division 1 is the second highest competition you can compete in when it comes to British basketball. The British basketball League (BBL) is the top division in England and NBL division 1 follows.
You can jump from team to team depending on many factors, with a big influence being performance. If you are not getting it done in the first division the coach will have no problem bringing someone up from the lower division and giving him a chance at the top.
We can’t also forget about the cup games that they play at the University of Essex. We could be talking about roughly 40 games a season which is great for the players who want to show their skills.
Also, something worth mentioning is that playing basketball at the University of Essex is completely free. They pay for your license, the travel, the uniforms and more.
What is the schedule like as a student athlete under a basketball scholarship?
Your schedule varies from week to week but on an average week you’ll have 4 morning workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. These morning workouts are mostly on an individual level or in a small group.
The morning workouts are designed to match the ability of the player. Every player has a unique skill set, and they want to strengthen those skills or to improve your weaknesses.
Afterwards there is a strength and conditioning session but that depends on when your classes start. If possible, you can join the strength and conditioning sessions but if not, you go to your classes.
During the day you just have your normal schedule of classes and in the evening, you have a team practice session. Since Wednesday is a game day the schedule is completely different from the rest of the week. On Wednesday you’ll have a 1-hour pregame shooting and go to the game. On Friday you don’t have a team practice since you’ll be playing a game on the weekend so in the evening, you’ll get the required rest that you need. If you ever get an injury, you’ll always have the support of the physio and if you ever don’t feel well mentally there are also professionals who will support you with your mental health
We’ve gone over the basketball program but how much is it? What does the scholarship include? Why would you even consider a scholarship in Europe?
The answer to that lies in the quality of coaches at the University of Essex, which have experience in coaching in top division leagues. There will also be strength & conditioning and physiotherapy support.
You will also receive an accommodation that is 100m from the training venues with a double bed, your own bathroom and since you’re on the campus you’ll also have access to the WIFI.
The scholarship offers you a flexible academic provision which basically means that you can have adapted exam times and even an extended study. A good example of this would be that if you get selected for your national team but in the same period you have an exam or deadline, you’ll be able to do it another time.
The final thing that the scholarship offers is that you’ll receive cash awards to support your athlete lifestyle.
There are 2 different scholarships that you can receive. The post graduate scholarship and the undergraduate scholarship. With undergraduate scholarship you’ll receive up to £2500 a year and a reduction of 25% of your intuition fee.
The postgraduates will receive a 100% reduction for their intuition fee. That is the only notable difference, everyone in their performance program will still receive the same support services. So even if you don’t receive a grant or the scholarship you do receive all the same support from the physiotherapist and strength & condition. You just won’t receive the grant or the post graduate scholarship.
Also, important to know is that even if you don’t receive a scholarship in the first year or even the second year, you can still receive it the following years, but it all depends on you. You’ll have the chance to show how good you’re and depending on your individual abilities you can receive a scholarship in Europe.
Depending on the course you study the intuition fee can vary but for undergraduates and postgraduates it would be between £15000-19000 per year so having a scholarship in Europe is an enormous help.
How can someone apply for a basketball scholarship in Europe with the University of Essex?
Applying is done via UCAS. They manage the UK undergraduate applications. You can apply up to 5 courses and they offer support to get into Higher Education. Everybody typically applies through UCAS, but some universities have a direct application too. The great thing about UCAS is that you can track your application online.
Now what do you need to include when you apply?
First of it starts with your general information and your education history. After that you add your employment history and then probably the most important of your application, your personal statement.
Your personal statement needs to stand out because it’s the only way you really can convince the university why they should accept you. What makes you so different from the rest? At the end of the personal statement you would add a reference from someone important or a teacher which would give the university access to someone else’s perspective on what kind of student and individual you are.
A scholarship in Europe is definitely worth getting, especially if you have love for the game of basketball.
EuroProBasket University Prep Program players will have access to this opportunity among countless others. It’s up to you to make the best out of this once in a lifetime opportunity.