A Conversation with…


Erika Livermore, BA'15, MA'16



Where did you grow up?

I was born in New Hampshire and moved around a couple of times when I was young, however, before 7th grade my family relocated to Nazareth, Pennsylvania, because of my father’s job and that is where I went to high school. My family still resides in Nazareth.

Why did you come to FDU?

I came to FDU on a Division I basketball scholarship. I played high school basketball and I traveled with a club team. I managed to get recruited by the coaching staff here at FDU - they offered me a full scholarship to continue playing. What drew me to FDU over other schools was its immense diversity, the accessibility to New York City, as well as still being close enough to my family and friends back home.

What was the most important component of your FDU education?

The most important component of my education was finding the right balance between both my academic schedule as well as my athletic schedule and remembering that I was a student first. Finding a major that I was passionate about (psychology) allowed me to further develop as both a student and an athlete. The relatively small class sizes allowed me to become close with many of my professors and rely on them as mentors as well as outlets when I needed them.

What do you enjoy most about sports and competing?

As an athlete, I am competitive by nature so being able to compete at the highest level while doing something that I love was the best of both worlds. I have always been involved in sports since I was younger, so it has always been a huge part of my life and something that I am very passionate about.

Another aspect I love about sports is the team aspect and being a part of something bigger than yourself. Building and maintaining relationships with your peers and coaches can only benefit you, and it gave me the opportunity to build lifelong friendships and gain experiences that I would have never had otherwise.

You just signed to play pro basketball in Europe, which is fantastic. Tell us about this.

After graduation, I was lucky enough to be approached by a couple of different agencies who wanted to represent me in finding a team to continue my career overseas playing professionally. I was able to take off the necessary time that I needed to rest, both mentally and physically, before preparing for the next step in my career. When I was ready, my agent began contacting coaches who were in need of a player like me, and it so happened that a team in Leicester, England, reached out to me and was able to negotiate a deal for my benefit! It is really a fantastic experience so far: I get to live with my teammates, play basketball and live in another country- all while getting paid to continue doing something that I love.

What's the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome and how did you do it?

I have been very blessed to have lived a wonderful life so far, so obstacles are very few and far between for me. However, I did have a major athletic setback in my junior year at FDU. I tore my ACL and was not allowed to play for the entire season that year. For those that understand athletics, they know that this is a very serious knee injury and is a very tedious recovery.

 

It was a very difficult time for me mentally, emotionally and physically. I had to learn how to do basic life skills, like walking, from scratch. And once I was cleared, I had to get comfortable playing again. It took almost a year of rehab to get in the best physical shape as I could, and it took a lot of mental toughness sessions to become confident in my abilities again.

Thankfully, I had amazing support from my family, friends, teammates, coaching staff and trainers who worked with me every single day to get me prepared and ready to get back onto the court.

Who has had the most impact on your life?

Both my mom and my dad have been the most influential people in my life, and each for very different reasons. My mom has always been my biggest support system, encouraging me when I didn’t believe in myself, being my biggest fan and always reminding me that I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to. She taught me to always dream bigger and aim higher than I think is possible. She has always worked tirelessly to make sure that her family comes first and has provided me and my siblings with a fantastic childhood. I can only hope I continue to make her proud as I head into adulthood.

My dad has always been the glue for our family. I have always admired how hard he works day in and day out to provide for the people that he loves. The amount of support he has given me and the resources he has provided for me to accomplish my dreams are things I can never repay him for. I thank God each day for blessing me with both of them.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

For now, I am going to continue to enjoy the path that I am on. Not everyone has gotten the opportunities that I have right now, to live in another country while continuing to play a sport that they love. When the time comes to close this chapter of my life, I will know and be ready to embrace what comes next, whether it is coaching, working or going back to school.


About Erika Livermore

Erika earned her BA in psychology in 2015 and MA in psychology in 2016 from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She currently plays basketball for the Leicester Riders of Leicester, UK, part of the Women's British Basketball League. While a student at FDU, she served as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, an organization of athletes on the Metropolitan Campus who perform local volunteer work and coordinate campus events to enrich the student-athlete experience.