Burkholder Looks Ahead To Playing In Italy

HARRISONBURG, VA. (WHSV) -- Over two months ago, Kirby Burkholder was talking about how nice it would be to stay close to home if she earned a spot with the Washington Mystics.

Now, the former JMU basketball star is preparing to head overseas to Italy in her first, big step, to play basketball professionally.

Just a few days after hopes of playing in the WNBA faded, Burkholder got the call she was waiting for.

"I was pretty sure something was going to happen but just the fact that your first call, your first offer overseas, just knowing that you have an opportunity to play is really exciting," Burkholder said.

Months after leading the Dukes to their first NCAA tournament win in 13 years, Burkholder will play for Azzura Orvieto, a women's basketball team in Italy.

"It's an hour from Rome, an hour from Florence, that's all exciting,” Burkholder said. “Just the experience, apart from basketball is really important too."

The Turner Ashby grad will move at the end of the summer, giving her plenty of time to learn a new language. While her plans are set for the upcoming season, Burkholder hasn't closed the door on her WNBA dreams yet.

"Hopefully next year, I'll have another opportunity here in the WNBA which would be great,” Burkholder said.

“Whatever happens, even if I play here, you can play overseas as well so I'll probably be overseas for hopefully a good couple of years of my life.”

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