Sasko adjusts to life in America


SU basketball player Phil Sasko, who came to America from his native Sweden, has had to adjust to both American culture and American-style basketball.

In the fall of 2010, Sweden native Philip Sasko made a life-altering decision. After spending two years at Stockholm University, Sasko transferred to Shippensburg University where he is a member of the men’s basketball team.

By attending college in the United States, Sasko is following the path set by his parents, who both played basketball at St. John’s University in New York. “It was always sort of natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” Sasko said.

Sasko chose Shippensburg after the basketball program showed interest in him after he sent game film to various schools. “We had an agency help us out. They were in contact with different schools,” Sasko said. “Shippensburg was one of them that responded.”

Sasko has had to adjust to life in America—both on and off the court. On the court, Sasko has had to adjust to new rules and a more explosive style of play. “When Phil first got it here it kind of took him a while to adjust to playing American basketball,” said Sasko’s roommate and teammate John Corrigan.

Off the court, Sasko has had to deal with being away from his family. The distance includes more than 4,000 miles and a six-hour time difference. Sasko often uses Skype to keep in touch with his friends and family back at home. Last Christmas, Sasko stayed on Skype for more than 20 hours to enjoy the holiday with his family across the Atlantic Ocean.

While the distance from home is tough to manage at times, Sasko has learned to adjust. “Its tough,” Sasko said. “But you have to realize that you have a new life here also.”

Corrigan has been impressed with how much Sasko has adjusted in the past year. “Last year he was pretty quiet with everyone,” Corrigan said. “I think we’ve pretty much Americanized him at this point. He’s doing everything we do.”

As a student, Sasko is majoring in computer science and hopes to one day work in animation.

Whatever challenges are in front of him, Sasko is confident he will be able to rise to the occasion.

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