The End Is Near: Tijana Raca Relives Her Fond Memories of Wyoming

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There are six conference games remaining in the Cowgirls' season and six seniors who will play their last game in front of the Wyoming fans on March 4th in the Arena-Auditorium. Each game day leading up to Senior Night, one of the seniors will share her favorite memories, both on and off the court, from her career at the University of Wyoming. First up is Tijana Raca, the senior guard from Thessaloniki, Greece.

By Marta Gomez

Cowgirl senior forward

LAS VEGAS – Tijana Raca was an Oral Roberts recruit before she committed to Wyoming. Coach Bojan Jankovic was an assistant at ORU, and when he decided to move to Laramie, Tijana came with him. He had recruited her, and she felt like her career would be much easier with a European coach by her side. The University of Wyoming sounded like a good option for her, and in the middle of the summer, she changed her mind and committed to coach Joe Legerski's team.

"When I first got to Wyoming it was tough," Raca explained. "It was really hard to explain myself in English and the American culture was hard to get used to."

She remembers how hard it was for her American teammates to understand her, but she is glad that she had a couple of Europeans by her side. Riikka Kujala, Marta Gomez, and Tijana really supported each other during their first year as Cowgirls.

Basketball and school do not leave a lot of free time for the players, but when they find it, they make sure they take the most out of it. Tijana has enjoyed the road trips to the mountains in Wyoming, shopping in Fort Collins, and visiting Denver to watch NBA games. But also, the road trips that come with basketball have been a lot of fun for her.

"When we go on the road it is really fun," says Tijana. "We see new places that we have not seen before like Las Vegas, San Diego, or Orlando. We got to visit Alcatraz in San Francisco, we have been to a Golden State Warriors game, and other things that we would not have done by ourselves. We spend a lot of time together, we play games and we really enjoy being around each other."

Tijana's favorite memory off the court comes from the Cowgirls' tournament in Orlando her junior year. The team got to visit the Universal Studios theme park and it was, without a doubt, a great experience to be able to do it together. Her teammates have been really important for her during these years and being able to create these memories with them means a lot to her.

But living in Wyoming also comes with new experiences. The Laramie weather has provided memories she won't forget. Before she got to Laramie, she had never seen snow before, and after four years she has seen plenty. She remembers biking in the ice her freshman year, and of course, falling. But also getting stuck in Fort Collins coming from the airport, walking to class in a blizzard, and getting out from her apartment to step in 15 inches of snow.

Tijana has had a great time being a Cowgirl so far. She knows that she still has a lot to enjoy in these final months, and she wants to take the most out of it. For the future Cowgirls, she has a clear message: "Work hard in every practice, our fans are incredible, and they will always support you. But overall, enjoy the experience and have fun because the time goes by so fast."

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