Sophomore women’s tennis player Andrea De Leon was born in Mission, Texas to Mexican parents. Moving from Mission, which has a population of just over 80,000, De Leon grew up an American citizen in Reynosa, Mexico traveling across the border to McAllen, Texas to train in tennis. De Leon moved to the United States for high school, where she attended a boarding school in Austin. De Leon offers a unique perspective on what it means to be American and Mexican, and Mexican-American. De Leon was hesitant about playing Division III tennis, but after visiting campus the team won her over.
“I just felt really at home,” De Leon said, “they were all extremely nice and people that I would want to spend the next four years of my life with.”
What was the most surprising thing about America, Texas and Trinity?
Going from Mission, Texas and living in Mexico and transitioning to Austin life [for boarding school] was kind of weird. Where I’m from, everything’s on the rural side. There’s not many highways or anything like that so the industrial side of [Austin/San Antonio] was very impressive.
What do you wish people knew about Mexico, your home?
Mexico itself has a really bad reputation with it’s government, it’s law enforcement and being poor, especially right now with the whole political issue, but it’s a really cultural place. It’s got great food, great places to visit and really nice features. People are really nice.
What do you miss most about Mexico?
I miss how it easy it was to go outside of your house and play outside and just be with people. Now you can’t because of security [concerns], and you can’t do it here cause it’s not normal here to just know everyone.
Do you have a Mexican spirit animal?
Does taco count as a spirit animal?
Who is your tennis hero?
Probably [Roger] Federer. He’s really good.
What is your major?
Right now I’m doing international business.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
Probably law school. That’s a long shot, but probably that or go to grad school after college.
Do you consider America your home?
I do. It’s always been there. I’ve grown up here a lot. I’ve been here a lot. It’s very different and I really do like seeing both sides at the same time, American culture and Mexican culture and I like to teach people about [my] culture.
Vetle Masvaer Halle is a first-year defender on the men’s soccer team from Stavanger, Norway. While Masvaer Halle is an ocean away from most of his family, he is closer now to his father, who a year ago moved to Houston. Though not a part of his decision to become a Tiger, his father and stepmother have been an added bonus to his Texas experience, coming to games and becoming a bigger part of his life in the states. It was on a trip to see his father that Masvaer Halle first visited Trinity’s campus last December, after being put in contact with Coach Paul McGinlay through a Norwegian player’s agency.
“They have a good soccer program as well as a good academic program,” Masvaer Halle said.
What is the most surprising thing about America, Texas and Trinity?
I felt very welcomed coming here. People are very easy to talk to. Playing soccer here…. the heat was very overwhelming. Didn’t think it was going to be this bad, but I’m getting used to it. I love the food, especially Mexican food.
What do you wish people knew about Norway, your home?
It’s a beautiful place. We have beautiful nature. The air is very clean.
What do you miss most about Norway?
My family. My mom and sisters and aunts and grandma and dog. I have a twin sister and I have an older sister.
Do you have Norwegian spirit animal?
Probably a polar bear cause I have a tattoo of a polar bear.
What do you think about the movie Frozen?
I haven’t seen it.
Who is your soccer hero?
Since I’m from Norway, à˜yvind Leonhardsen.
Do you know what your major is yet?
I’ve been thinking about philosophy.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
That’s a good question. I’ve been thinking about maybe law school, but also there’s so many different directions you could go with philosophy, so we’ll see.
Do you plan to stay in America after graduation?
That’s also a good question. We’ll see how it goes. It’s four years from now so it’s a possibility.