American sports catch some global students’ excitement

Trevor Monk, Staff Writer

Some international students are taking interest in American sports and have found that a few are intriguing while others are disappointing.

It may be hard for many students to imagine moving to a different part of the world and leaving behind facets of America’s sports culture like Monday Night Football, the U.S. Open or the Daytona 500.

But some of UPJ’s international students have adjusted to a new sports culture and embraced certain American sports.

Sophmore Kevin Egede said he was born and raised in Nigeria and has lived in the U.S. for over a year.

After finishing a pick-up soccer match, Egede said his favorite sport – American or otherwise – is soccer.

He said he is disappointed by U.S. networks’ soccer coverage – of both International leagues and American leagues. But Egede supports the New York Red Bulls because his favorite player is on the team.

Egede also said that the NHL is like soccer on ice and he supports the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Like Edede, freshman Junqing Zhou said that coming to America from China influenced him to follow certain sports teams.

“Before I came to the U.S., I liked the NBA, but I am getting interested in the NFL,” Zhou said.

He said the Orlando Magic is his favorite NBA team and the Pittsburgh Steelers are his favorite NFL team.

Zhou said American sports are comparable to Chinese sports he grew up with – mainly because of their competitive nature.

Freshman Shan Juameng was born in China and moved to the U.S. this summer.

He said that some popular American sports are popular in China, as well.

“People in China are really interested in basketball. There are lots of basketball teams throughout Chinese schools,” Juameng said.

He said that the NFL and the NHL spark more interest in younger people compared with older people.

The older people, he said, tend to gravitate to sports that they know well and have watched for a long time.

Freshman Niyun Han, also from China, said that pingpong is a popular sport in China.

She said that she also enjoys volleyball and basketball.

Han said that, for her, American football doesn’t spark an interest.

“I don’t know much about it. If I can learn the rules, I think I will like it. It’s cool.”