NORTHRIDGE, Calif. ---
Former Cal State Northridge women's basketball standout Jasmine Erving has started her professional career with IKAPOS of the Greek Women's Basketball League. CSUN's second-highest scorer in school history has adjusted quickly to her professional regiment as the squad recently competed in a friendly, preseason tournament.
Having recently arrived in Athens, Erving wrote in an e-mail that she has had to adjust to her new life quickly. She is the only American on her team and her new teammates and the language barrier has been an interesting endeavor.
"The Greek league made a new rule that allows only one American on each team and the majority of girls do not speak English on the team," Erving wrote. "Some players and the head coach know a little English so during practices our assistant coach translates everything to me."
Still, Erving is happy to be a part of her new team. She lives with one of her teammates in a modern, two-bedroom apartment and has already played several games with her new squad.
"We played in a friendly tournament recently where the games don't count and the coaches are allowed to scout the other teams in the league," she explained.
Erving, originally from Santa Ana, Calif., left CSUN with her name firmly entrenched the school's record books. After a career in which she was honored by the Big West Conference coaches after all four of her playing seasons, Erving left as the Matadors' career leader in blocked shots and finished second in career starts, points and field goals.
Because of that, Erving and the team carry high expectations for her play in the upcoming season.
"A lot is expected of me on this team, so my goals are to become better every day and be consistent in my stats," Erving wrote. "Still, I was less nervous to start playing with this team than when I started at CSUN."
She attributes that lack of nerves to the preparation and regiment she went through with the Matadors, especially over her last two seasons under head coach Jason Flowers.
"Our practices at CSUN tended to be physical and fast-paced, a tempo I expect to see at this level as well," Erving said. "Coach Flowers and Jeff Crelling, the women's basketball strength and conditioning coach, really helped me develop and prepare for this next stage in my career."
Being 6,500 miles from home can be a daunting challenge, but Erving wrote that she prepared for the experience and the power of social media will help her through those more lonely moments.
"Before I arrived to Greece I mentally prepared myself to be lonely at times, so that has definitely helped me so far to not miss my family and friends as much," she added. "Of course we have several social websites that allow me to keep in contact with people so that is a bonus as well."
Erving was the team's captain in 2011-12 when CSUN engineered one of the best single-season turnarounds in NCAA Division I history. She averaged a career-high 14.9 points and 8.2 rebounds and earned All-Big West Conference First Team honors after she started a school-record 31 games.
Her head coach the past two seasons, Jason Flowers, was proud to see Erving ascend to the next level in her career.
"I am as proud of Jasmine as I am of any other student-athlete I have ever coached," Flowers said. "Her maturation and development in terms of conditioning, leadership and play has been outstanding. She is certainly a role model for any young woman considering college basketball and beyond. I only wish I could have coached for her more seasons."
For now, Erving is excited about what this upcoming year will bring her and grateful for the opportunity to continue her basketball career.
"I am looking forward to my time in Athens and I am curious to see how this season plays out," she concluded.