by JESSICA MCKENZIE, Staff Writer
Adrien Awana, a Manhattan College senior Business Management major from the suburbs of Bordeaux, France, has used his passion and talent for soccer to inspire the Manhattan College community. His transition from France to the United States has transformed him as a player and as a student in New York City.
The Quadrangle: When did you come here?
Adrien Awana: I came here last summer actually as a junior. I transferred from Bordeaux, France.
TQ: How long have you been playing soccer? How did you become interested in it?
AA: I’ve been playing since I was six. Soccer is really big in my country. My father was a really passionate player, so it was kind of my default. My father played soccer, but not professionally. I have a brother who also plays.
TQ: What is your proudest achievement as an athlete?
AA: I got nominated for the Student Athlete of the year. One of thirty nominated. Community service, your performance in class and on the field, and character. I wish I’ve done a little more community service with my team, but we don’t really have a lot of time to ourselves. We practice usually every day. After big games, we only have one or two days off.
TQ: What do you do in your free time?
AA: I do my homework. I like reading. I’m big on personal development, so I do some meditation. I’m trying to learn Spanish.
TQ: Why did you choose to play at Manhattan?
AA: It’s D1, and in the most beautiful city in the world. I thought it was interesting because the coach had very good arguments to convince me. Actually, he didn’t really have to convince me. It was a promising proposition. I knew they had some very good players that would be my teammates.
TQ: What do your teammates mean to you?
AA: Honestly, I’ve learned a lot [from them] since I’ve been here. The cultural differences are quite a big deal, but I’ve learned to respect them. But all that matters is that when we get on the field. There are five French guys, and I mostly hang out with them. On the field, however, the communication is the same for everybody.
TQ: Is there anybody that has been an inspiration to your soccer career?
AA: I play defender, so in my position I would say Sergio Ramos, a Spanish defender in Madrid.
TQ: What are your team’s greatest challenges? What are your strengths?
AA: We started with a tight schedule, and our coaches really tried to challenge us with difficult exercises for the max championship. I assume they’ve done a pretty good job at it because we’ve been well prepared as a team. We were definitely ready for the championship. We play better with each other, but we still have to work on scoring goals. We could be more aggressive and focused, but there’s an area for improvement in everything.
TQ: How will your passion for soccer carry as you leave Manhattan College?
AA: I mean, soccer is my whole life. My schedule revolves around it. Everything I do is for the field, with the exception of my classwork. I have to maintain my GPA. But other than that, I do everything I can to improve. I sleep early, eat the right foods, work out a bit earlier, stay after practice a little later. I wanna go pro so I’m gonna go trial and hopefully I’ll get drafted. If I get drafted, it would be the perfect scenario but I’m going on trial in the fall.
TQ: What have you learned from moving to Manhattan College?
AA: I’ve learned so much about myself. Being exposed to another culture is a big deal. You learn a lot. It’s really challenging at the same time. You have to adapt. You have to take care of everything academically, it’s completely different in France. I learned to really be conscientious, be disciplined, and to communicate better.
TQ: What are some characteristics of a successful athlete?
AA: I’d say you’ve got to be able to handle the time commitment. You have to take care of yourself above all. You body is your tool. You have to use it.