She is a teacher by day and a basketball player by night.
Shannon Daly is currently playing basketball overseas in Sundsvall, Sweden for KFUM Sundsvall Basket Klubben. The Groton graduate also teaches at Internatinella Engleska Skolan (IESS). Daly started teaching at the school last year when she moved to Sundsvall.
This year is much better since we are in a lower division, but last year was extreme, Daly said. The balance was intense. I would wake up before work and work out, then work, then go to team work outs after school, and then sleep. Wake up, do the same thing.
The 25-year-old Daly teaches English, math, science and even basketball. She teaches students in grades sixth, seventh and ninth.
The really hard part was playing away games, Daly said. Sometimes I would leave work early, go to a game eight hours away, play a game, drive home in the middle of the night and then get up and work the next day.
The 5-foot-4 Daly began her college career at Southwest Minnesota State and finished at the University of South Dakota. This is Daly's third year playing professional basketball overseas. She started her overseas career playing for the Umea (Sweden) Comets. Lifelong friend Michelle Bruns was going to play for the Comets, but tore her ACL a day before she was going overseas. Bruns, who is now the head coach at Grove City (Pa.) College, asked Daly if she wanted to go in her place.
She passed the baton on to me for this opportunity, Daly said. I took the baton, but there were some stipulations. I would get a two-week tryout and my future would be determined after that.
Daly landed a spot on the Comets' roster and then last year moved two hours south to Sundsvall and played for the Saints. The team went bankrupt last year. Since the team did not have the funding to stay in the top league, it not only had to drop down one league, it had to go to the lowest league.
Now my team is going through a makeover, Daly said. We've got a new name, new coaches, new managers, new everything, besides the players. Normally it takes years to go from the lowest division to the top, but with our talent, our goal is to take the fast track to the top league.
Daly added that she could have moved to a different city and play for a different team. However, she is content in Sundsvall, which has a population of around 50,000 and more than 95,000 in the surrounding municipal area.
I actually like Sundsvall, she said. So I have committed to KFUM basketball and focused on bringing this club back to the top.
There are 22 games in the regular season. Practice starts in late August and pre-season games in early September. The playoffs begin in March.
So we get a taste of March Madness here, she said.
Daly is active in her church, helped start an English-speaking bible study, is going to join a choir, tutoring an eight-year-old in English and is learning the Swedish language.
Yep, the South Dakotan is adapting to the Sweden way of life. However, one thing bothers her.
They suck at snow removal, she said. South Dakota knows what they are doing.
Ryan Deal is an American News Sports Writer who can be reached at (605) 622-2305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.