Chantel Charles has just signed her first professional contract with Baloncesto Batalyaws in Spain.
5ft 10″ Charles is a former Barking Abbey alumni and has just graduated from NCAA Division One University of Maine where she spent the last 4 years. She will start her rookie professional career in Spain’s League F2 where we got a chance to catch up with Chantel to find out how she is feeling about signing her first pro deal.
“I’m excited and nervous as it’s a new chapter in my life so not sure what to expect. I’ve always seen my self as a strong defensive player so this year I will aim to be more of an offensive threat by putting numbers on the board. I also want to be a leader for the team which will mean I will have to learn a bit more Spanish to do it vocally!!!”
Charles touched on how important she thinks it is for UK female players to look to Europe to play the sport as a job.
“I think it’s important for players to try and head to Europe right out of college as the system changed me for the better and it really has you ready. I learnt a lot about discipline and work ethic which will really prepare me for this but it wasn’t until over this summer going to a couple scrimmages and working a regular job I realized basketball was not over for me. I wanted to look at options to play in Europe where I regret leaving it late to find an agent to start my pro career, so even though it was a late decision, it was one of my best choices I made playing pro overseas. It’s a blessing to still be given the chance to play and opportunities you experience, new places, environments and people you wouldn’t be able to encounter doing something else.”
She finished by thanking those who have helped on her basketball journey.
“There’s a lot of people I want thank, like my family for the support and UMaine, but a big shout out goes to Will Ohuaregbe, Andrea Boreland, Mark Clark, Karen Burton and Duncan Ogilvie, who put in a lot of time and effort in me over the summer which I’m truly grateful for.”
We want to wish Chantel all of the success as she starts a new journey in her basketball career in Spain. Go get it!