Kateryna Pazzaglia Khomenko has traveled from Bologna Italy to Rome, Ga. to play basketball for the Lady Chargers of Georgia Highlands College.
Khomenko had not originally planned on coming to GHC. She planned on going to another college but there was a problem and that didn’t work out. The college that Khomenko was planning on attending called GHC and GHC accepted her.
Khomenko said that even though she had not originally intended on coming to Georgia Highlands, she is “so proud and so happy to be here.”
Besides playing basketball, Khomenko said that “the fact that I can right now transfer to another school and I can have choices” is something that GHC has made possible to her. She loves the small class sizes at GHC because “you can really talk with the teachers.”
Khomenko said that the people are her favorite part of living in the United States. She said that while at GHC she has “met a lot of beautiful people who are nice to me and who are always available. I think that’s important.”
The language has also been a favorite part of the United States for Khomenko. She said, “It was hard at the beginning. Now that I can understand everything, everything is much easier.”
Not everything about the United States has been an easy adjustment for Khomenko, however. She said the biggest difference between Italy and the United States is the food.
She said with a laugh, “It was so hard for me when I first came here because y’all eat like really unhealthy.” Khomenko said that she enjoys eating pizza also, but she prefers Italian pizza.
Khomenko started playing basketball when she was 13- years-old.
She said that basketball is different in Italy than it is in the United States. People here typically play on a team at their high school. In Italy, there are clubs that people play with after school. Khomenko played with two clubs.
In addition to playing basketball, Khomenko was also a ballerina when she was younger. “I did ballet for seven years,” she added.
Brandan Harrell, Khomenko’s head coach, said, “Kat is a great person and a great student. She is a player that catches scouts’ eyes as soon as she walks onto the floor.”