Watch and listen: Cal Poly Women’s Basketball player from Romania finds home away from home
While it’s not possible to play basketball in two places at once, Sarah Dumitrescu feels that she can represent both Romania and the United States on the court.
“My home language is Romanian and whenever I go home I speak in Romanian, but I also grew up here so I think it’s a good split,” Dumitrescu said.
Dumitrescu is a sociology junior who plays guard on the Cal Poly Women’s Basketball team. Although Dumitrescu was born in Denville, New Jersey, her parents are not from America.
“My whole family is fully Romanian. I don’t know how I ended up here but I am the only one who was born here,” Dumitrescu said.
During her childhood, she moved to Bucharest, Romania. This is where she discovered basketball. However, it looked a little different there.
“American basketball is a lot more physical and faster and then European basketball, you know, is a lot more static and a lot more controlled basketball … you have to be smarter not more athletic” Dumitrescu said.
Dumitrescu says her P.E. teacher encouraged her to join a club team, after which she began playing competitively.
What she didn’t know at the time was that her father also played the game and he had been hoping she would too.
“One day when I came home and I was like, ‘oh I want to play basketball outside of school.’ I think little tears of joy fell down because he never wanted to push me to do it. He just wanted it to come to me,” Dumitrescu said.
Even though her family can’t watch from the stands in Mott gym, Dumitrescu said she has found other supporters here in the U.S.
“I was lucky enough to have a family over here –– you know, my teammates, coaches, best friends who were always like, ‘Sarah you are going to see your family again’ –– and they kind of became my family over here,’” Dumitrescu said.