Beckley Inks Contract with Budapest Club
By Seattle University
SEATTLE – Seattle University women’s basketball product Jacinta Beckley has signed with the Budapest University Athletics Club (Budapesti Egyetemi Atletikai Club) in Hungary and will begin her pro career next month. Beckley is coming off a gold-medal-winning turn with the New Zealand national team at the William Jones Cup last month.
"Playing professional basketball (or any sport) is something every kid dreams of," said Beckley. "I'm beyond excited to be another step closer to fulfilling my dreams. I can't wait to get to Hungary, meet my new coaches and teammates, and get to work."
In her senior year, Beckley put together her best season as a Redhawk. She notched All-WAC Second Team recognition, playing a key role on SU’s WAC Championship team. Beckley, a native of Wellington, New Zealand, averaged 12.3 points per game and sank 50 three-pointers. She scored a career-high 25 points in a win over New Mexico State on Jan. 18.
"Jacinta had a solid senior season and she remained committed during the spring in elevating her game and her overall strength and conditioning," said Seattle University women's basketball coach Suzy Barcomb. "With her success with the New Zealand team at the Jones Cup, I’m not surprised she was able to sign a professional contract. It's rewarding for her and our program. We are so very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to following her success."
Last month, Beckley played for the New Zealand national team, starting all five games as the Tall Ferns won the William Jones Cup for the first time ever.
BEAC Ujbuda plays in the top division in Hungary’s pro league.
From Jacinta Beckley – What this next stage of being a professional basketball player means to her:
"I’ve always dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but anyone who knows me knows just how much I want it and how hard I am willing to work to get there. A couple of years ago I thought that this dream might be only that, a dream, but during my junior year at Seattle University when my hand was broken I had a coach from another team approach me and tell me to look after my hand, not to come back too soon and make sure I do everything I need to do in order to get it back to normal because my hands are my tools and I need them to be successful. He then said that I had the potential to go pro if I wanted to. It was that moment I realized that maybe it wasn’t just a dream and I could actually do it. So my mentality changed from trying to be the best player I could be for my team to be successful, to doing everything in my power now to set me up for the future."
"I found an amazing skills trainer who wasn’t affiliated with the school (Nars Martinez). We spent endless hours in the gym working on my ball handling, finishes, shooting, post moves, and everything else I needed to elevate my game to the next level. Working on my skills and developing is something I find fun, I honestly prefer training over playing a game. There’s no better feeling than mastering something you couldn’t once do."
"After my teams successful senior season I signed with Hello Again Agency to help me find somewhere to play. Selecting an agent was hard and stressful. I didn’t know who was being honest, telling me what I wanted to hear or if they were legitimate. I had numerous conversations with different people who were interested in representing me, but I just couldn’t trust some of them. Hello Again Agency were real with me and told me what to expect my rookie year, not to get paid a lot, but to find a team I fit into that will help develop me for next year which will be a better contract and maybe even a better team if I perform."
"After I came back from Tall Ferns when we landed in Auckland I had a message from my agent telling me a coach from Hungary wanted to chat and was interested in me signing with me. I signed with my agent back in June so started losing hope a little. We’d had interest from some other coaches, but coaches can also be all talk and offer you something that they can’t actually give so finding a team that does fulfill their promises isn’t always easy. The conversation with the hungary coaches went well and they want me over there in September. I am super excited to start this next chapter of my life and see where it takes me. It’s been awesome coming home and working out every day. I did some awesome strength and conditioning training with Mat Brown at 318, Gavin Cross at Exodus, and Angelo Robinson who has been extremely supportive throughout this whole process. I can’t wait to get over there, but it’s not going to be real until I get over there and don’t understand a single word they’re all saying."
- Kapiti Hoop Club