Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
For some students, moving away to college can be a huge transition. For Aleksandra “Sasha” Dobranic, the nearly 5,000-mile move was a life-changing decision.
Dobranic is a redshirt junior center on the Ohio State women’s basketball team from Novi Sad, Serbia. She said she moved to Columbus as an international student-athlete in 2009 to play basketball and receive a higher education.
“Back in Europe, the system is different. We don’t have college sports,” Dobranic said. “You can go to college separately and then play professionally.”
Redshirt senior guard Amber Stokes said the six-hour time difference left Dobranic with a big alteration in her daily lifestyle.
“I remember when Sasha first got here, she slept all the time,” Stokes said. “She also had to adjust to how to speak English.”
Through all the struggles from the transcontinental move, Dobranic said she always felt like part of the Buckeye family.
“I love my sport, the experience and the atmosphere that the fans make,” Dobranic said. “It’s really incredible.”
Still, Dobranic said she’s felt the hardships of being homesick as well.
“I think as much fun as it is to be far from parents and do things on your own, it is hard at the same time,” Dobranic said.
Dobranic said she misses her family most during the season when she sees teammates’ families at games, but that she “can call (OSU) her second home.”
“She is thousands of miles away from home, that’s a challenge in itself,” said senior guard Tayler Hill.
This season, Dobranic has played in 24 games and is shooting 57 percent from the field.
“Sasha has really stepped up her game this year,” Stokes said. “She is so dedicated and wants to get better. She has become a big part of the team.”
Dobranic and the rest of the Buckeyes are set to take on Illinois at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., Thursday at 8 p.m.