September 26, 2012

Coaches Corner: Georgian Princess

Welcome to another installment of 'Coaches Corner' in which I discuss some aspect of college basketball!

In a previous post about the U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball team, I shared that the most important asset  that a player/coach posses is his wife... To stay in that vein I interviewed Amanda Woodside, wife of former NDSU basketball player and current professional European player Benjamin Woodside, to share a little about her background, how they met, and life overseas. Enjoy!

How did you and Woodside meet?

Our romantic love story began in the Bison Sports Arena (BSA).  Benjamin was shooting hoops and I was at practice for the NDSU dance team, circa 2006. However we did not begin dating till much later.

So, you are a graduate of North Dakota State University as well. What was your major?

Entering college as a Freshman I declared a Public Relations major.  After a year of uncertainty I pulled a 180 and started taking engineering courses.  Three years later I graduated with an Industrial Engineering and Management degree.

Your husband plays professional basketball overseas. How many countries have you two lived in? Which country has been your favorite? Why?

We have been fortunate to live in 4 very different countries since graduating college.  Basketball has taken us to France, Slovenia, Georgia, and now Turkey. It is difficult to overall rank a country higher than another.  I enjoy many aspects of each location.  Each culture brings us new adventures, wisdom, and food!  However there are also difficult moments and humbling times, but I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences.  I will break down the positives from each country:

France: Loved their food, the good friends we met, its powerful history, and the language.

Slovenia: Awesome views, good location, absolutely beautiful, and somewhere I plan on retiring.

Georgia: Experienced some of the most incredible hospitality, and I like what it taught me living there.

Turkey:  We have only been here 3 weeks and I feel so comfortable.  It a warm, friendly environment.  The city we live in is HUGE with almost 5 million people and has a lot of offer.

What is ‘Georgian Princess’ referring to?

Hehe.  Well...while living in Georgia, Benjamin officially became a Georgian citizen and I, unofficially, became their Georgian Princess.  With a badge and all!

You must dish- are the ladies anything like what we see on Basketball Wives?

Unfortunately, yes, sometimes it can feel that way.  There have been some catty females, but that can happen anywhere, anyplace.  It all depends on what kind of women are mixed together.  We could go into a whole different interview for details on that topic.  Beyond the drama, I have been blessed to meet outstanding women who are very dear to me.

What is your most memorable basketball experience?

There are quite a few funny mishaps. However, with out a doubt it was last year.  We made a difficult decision to leave a team in the middle of the season.  Within 24 hours of that decision we had to pack up our entire life into 4 suit cases total, address any loose ends in that current country, and then fly blindly across the globe to (The Republic of) Georgia.  Whoa.  Side note: to ensure no risk of getting stressed out, we each enjoyed 3 long island cocktails during the layover.  

Thank you Amanda for this insightful interview into the life of a former Bison overseas. Please, wish them luck for this season! You can follow Amanda at her blog, Amanda Mosaic.


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