Anteaters Go Abroad

The start of a new school year brings with it the start of new sports seasons. This means that as sports enthusiasts, we have emerging athletic talents to look out for, and a chance to see how returning athletes have progressed since the previous season. This also brings about the opportunity to embrace what former Anteaters are doing with professional careers following their years at UCI.

UC Irvine Men’s Basketball alumni Michael Wilder, Damon Starring and Adam Folker recently signed their professional contracts to play ball overseas.

Michael Wilder made his way to Spain to play for Spanish club UP Bàsquet Gandia.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity to play in Spain,” Wilder said in a statement.

“I owe a great deal of thanks to my coaches and especially to UCI alumnus Johnny Rogers, who was a tremendous help and the main reason I was able to find this team,” Wilder continued.

However, entering a new team abroad comes with the  hardship of adjusting to a new country as well.

“The coaching staff here is great and my teammates have done wonders in helping my transition to living in Spain,” Wilder said in a statement.

“My roommates are assisting me in learning the Spanish language and have been showing me around the area.”

Damon Starring, named UCI’s Most Outstanding Player last season, made his way to Italy, as he  signed his contract to play professionally for Italian Club La Fortezza Racanati.

“Playing in Italy has been amazing, a great experience and I couldn’t ask to be in a better place my first year out of college,” Starring said in a statement.

“My team is great, a bunch of really good guys.  They welcomed me with open arms and have been a pleasure to be around, and they are helping me with my Italian,” he continued.

Joining Wilder and Starring abroad is Adam Folker, who earlier this month signed a one-year contract to play for the Czech Republic National Basketball Team with BK Nova Hut Ostrava.

“I am very excited to be starting my professional career with Ostrava,” said in a statement.  “I am ready to go in and work hard every day to compete for a Czech League championship,” he continued.

All three Anteater alumnus played under Coach Russell Turner, and finished last season 21-16, advantaging to the championship game of the Big West Tournament.