Vitalija Vasciunaite was in for quite a shock when she transferred from a huge public university in Florida to a smaller Christian university in California.
She handled the switch remarkably, as she is second on the team in points per game, third in rebounds and second in assists.
This is her first season as a Lady Lancer basketball player since transferring from the University of Miami.
“I am enjoying California Baptist University. I am just trying to be the best I can on the court and in the classroom,” Vasciunaite said.
The trip from one side of the country to the other is just a quick jump for a player who is originally from Vilnius, Lithuania.
At Miami, Vasciunaite was the back-up shooting guard at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division one school for two seasons.
The NCAA has a different atmosphere from the less intense National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Vascinuaite is a positive influence on the other players this season as CBU prepares to make the jump to the NCAA.
“NCAA is more intense with basketball, both on and off the court,” Vascinuaite said. “It is more intense, which is sometimes not fun at all. I prefer that the players have more freedom but can still get the job done.”
She brought her talents to CBU this season and helped to lead the team to a 19-5 record. She has high hopes for the team this season as she follows along with the goal set forth by head coach John Marcum.
“We will win the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), then we will go to Nationals and win them too,” Vasciunaite said.
Her focus, as well as the rest of the team’s, is winning the trophy from the National tournament.
“Staying on top of our schoolwork as well as working hard in the gym is what will get us to that trophy,” Vasciunaite said.
Schoolwork is important to Vascinuaite, something that she knows must remain consistent from high school in Virginia to college at Miami and now here at CBU.
“My personal goals are to do well in school, be competitive on the court and make myself and those around me better everyday,” Vascinuaite said.
Vasciunaite has slid into a natural leadership role on a young basketball team that has only two returning players from last seasons squad.
She brings with her experience of the highs and lows of the top level of college basketball. This is valuable information that will help this new team mesh together. Students at CBU are teaching her a few valuable things as well.
“I enjoy being at CBU and being surrounded by students who give a lot of attention to God,” Vascinuaite said. “I learn about them and their beliefs and in turn I learn a lot about myself as well.”
Vascinuaite and the other Lady Lancers are mixing well this season and are playing inspired basketball, cruising their way into the GSAC tournament in March.