Freshman enjoys first time in America


Mia Hennen

Freshman Tanya Platonova dribbles the ball during media day on Oct. 12 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Tanya Platonova is a freshman guard from Moscow, Russia. This not only her first season playing for the Shockers, but this is her first time in America. 

The Shockers first saw Platonova play when she participated in a tournament in Poland.

“My coach, when I played in Russia, sent highlights to Coach Adams,” said Platonova. Coach seemed to really like me and they decided to move me here.”

Being far from home, Platonova had to make many adjustments such as learning a new language, experiencing different weather, and eating new foods. Many of her adjustments have been extremely positive. 

Her favorite adjustment she has had to make so far is getting used to a new coaching staff. Platonova quickly felt welcomed to the Shockers. The Shockers provide a warm and friendly environment not only to her, but all of the players at Wichita State. 

The team celebrates different cultures as they learn about each of the players’ backgrounds. As Coach Adams said in previous interviews, she recognizes there are language barriers, but that does not stop the girls from bonding and building relationships. 

“Russian coaches and American coaches are very different,” said Platonova. “In Russia, we do not have friendly coaches, but Coach Adams and the whole coaching staff is a more friendly team. Practices here are great because the team is friendly.”

Being far from home can be scary, but being in a whole new country can be even more terrifying. Platonova, however, is not alone. Her teammates are her family. Most often, when Platonova is off the court, she spends a lot of time with her fellow teammate, Shamaryah Duncan. Platonova and Duncan are roommates which helps to give Platonova comfort. 

The girls are often shooting with each other, helping each other with homework, and Platonova has even taught Duncan how to speak some Russian. The girls find it fun to quiz each other and ask what some of the words are in their main languages. The girls use the bond they created off of the court to work together. Their bond helped them to be a strong duo during practice. 

Overall, this season Platonova wants to have a great experience with her team.

 “I want good shoots. I want good passes. I want to give all that I can. I want to show that I can do it,” said Platonova. 

She said is excited for her first season as a Shocker to begin, and she is hopeful to learn all she can.