William Alton picked up his bachelor’s degree from Penn State Abington in May and packed up for Italy to follow his dream. His major in Corporate Communication afforded him a world of opportunities, and he chose one that requires all of the skill sets he honed at Abington -- playing professional basketball with other athletes from around the globe.
Alton is quick to credit his education at Abington with his accomplishments in Europe.
“Communicating with players from around the world is a challenge,” he said. “I was a student-athlete at Abington, and my major in Corporate Communication contributed to my success in Italy. You need to network to be successful in this or any business.”
Alton, who played guard at Abington, hit the courts this summer in Italy and Serbia and quickly discovered that he needed to expand his language skills. During a game, Alton was yelling instructions to a teammate, but the other player didn’t understand. The incident motivated him to begin learning Italian.
“You have to communicate with other players to benefit the team no matter where you work. If I can understand my teammate and he understands me, we are on the same page,” he said.
Alton, a graduate of Hopewell Valley High School in Pennington, N.J., is thoroughly enjoying Italian food and the culture.
“Every experience comes with a blooper. A few of my teammates and I went to the Perugia Jazz Festival and we missed the last bus,” he laughed. “We were wandering around Perugia for two hours, trying our best to find our way back to the hotel. It’s been great experience.”
Alton is just beginning life as a professional basketball player overseas. He is hoping for offers from the European professional teams before returning to the United States, where he plans to play semi-pro basketball.
“I want to make my dream a reality,” he said. “I may get to play professional basketball if I take advantage of every opportunity out here.”