SAN ANTONIO — International student, Zërina Shatri, who arrived at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in 2017 only having literary skills in her native language will graduate in May.
Shatri, a kinesiology major, will be part of the spring 2021 graduating class. She is from Istog, Kosovo and attended Prishtina High School. She was a four-time champion with Pristina Women’s Basketball Club, a two-time Cup Winner of Kosovo’s league, and a five-time Top 10 Best Athlete.
She was scouted and recruited by Chris Dial, OLLU’s men’s head basketball coach, while he was overseas. She left home and traveled to San Antonio to be part of OLLU’s women’s basketball program and continue her education.
She was enthusiastic about her next chapter in life, but found it challenging being away from home. She found comfort in her new basketball family.
“I was excited, but it wasn’t easy. From speaking, reading, and learning only in the Albanian language, it was hard getting used to studying all in English, and everything was different from back home,” Shatri said. “Every day is planned and spent with your team; that becomes your second family.”
She helped OLLU women’s basketball team win the 2019 Red River Conference Championship, having an undefeated season.
“Winning the conference for the first time in college will be my best memory,” Shatri said.
OLLU women’s basketball head coach Stacy Stephens, describes Shatri as a great role model, teammate and stellar student-athlete.
“Zërina brought a toughness on the defensive end and rebounding, but she also has an excellent touch around the basket and was an extremely accurate shooter from 15-17 ft. from the goal,” Stephens said. “I’m very proud to have coached Zërina, and I will always be here to help support her in any way I can.”
After graduation, Shatri will hang up her jersey, and return home for a few months. She plans to come back to the states and pursue a career in physical therapy.
“I’ll definitely miss playing basketball with my OLLU family, they’ve been my favorite part here at the university,” Shatri said.
She will leave OLLU with her bachelor’s degree and many accolades to go along with that. Some of those include:
2018 Spring Dean’s List, Champions of Character 2019, Champions of the Red River Conference 2019, Semifinals of the NAIA Tournament 2019, part of the largest scholar-athletes -120- who have earned Red River Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete recognition in 2019 and Red River Conference Champion 2019-2020.
For more information on OLLU’s commencement ceremony, please visit ollusa.edu.