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HomeSportsHealing an Ivy League basketball player through a gap-year road trip

Healing an Ivy League basketball player through a gap-year road trip

NEW YORK — She left her job at a sushi restaurant, set up a sleeping area in the back of her Jeep and drove out of Florida with her new girlfriend. They were headed to a small town in the Cascade Mountains that resembled Christmas. Taking only a basketball out of habit, Abbey Hsu was on a journey to explore what else life had to offer outside of her familiar surroundings.

The past couple of years had been challenging for Abbey Hsu. She suffered a serious knee injury towards the end of her junior year in high school. On Valentine’s Day in 2018, she witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in high school history, forcing her to leave the scene limping due to her injury. The pandemic disrupted her freshman year at Columbia, and her father fell ill shortly after she returned home. Dr. Alex Hsu became the first medical professional in Florida to pass away due to COVID-19, just two days after Abbey’s birthday.

Instead of returning to Columbia in the fall of 2020, Abbey Hsu decided to take a break. This break led to a cross-country road trip during her gap year, filled with hiking, skiing, and exploring different places. She now finds herself as a fifth-year senior, with over 2,000 points under her belt and Columbia’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance within reach.

Basketball has always been a constant in Abbey Hsu’s life. Starting in a rec league at the age of 7, she has established herself as one of the top players in Ivy League history. With 2,071 career points and numerous records in her name, Abbey’s talent on the court has not gone unnoticed. She is now aiming for more milestones, including a potential WNBA career.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Abbey Hsu’s determination and love for the game have kept her going. The road trip she took allowed her to discover new passions outside of basketball, giving her a new perspective on life. As she navigates through the hardships and successes, Abbey continues to redefine what it means to be a resilient athlete and individual.


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