Published: January 05, 2009
It’s not unusual for top U.S. students to study at Oxford. However, it’s a
little more unusual for them to walk on to Oxford’s varsity basketball
Charlie Connally, a senior from Riverview, FL, who studied
at Oxford last semester as part of UT’s Honors at Oxford program,
produced papers on subjects like natural law and the works of John
Locke. And he did it at the same time as practicing for the basketball
team for 10 hours per week with additional scheduled trips throughout
England to compete against other schools.
“When I got to Oxford I
really didn’t know what to do in my time apart from studying,”
Connally, a double major in government and world affairs and
criminology, said. “I played basketball all through high school, so I
figured that would be a good way to kind of let loose at the end of the
At Oxford, sports teams are referred to as “clubs,” a turn
of phrase that threw off Connally’s idea of what to expect on the first
day he showed up to be a part of the team.
“When I got there,
there were 80 students looking to play and I found out it was the team
tryouts,” Connally said. “Some stuff you never lose, so I kind of winged
Connally played as a center and guard in a total of five
varsity basketball games and two junior varsity games while at Oxford.
The experience, he said, was similar to playing on an NCAA Div. II or
III team in the United States.
Even among his teammates, the
academic-centered way of life persisted as off-the-court conversations
usually consisted of discussions about what players were currently
reading and which British authors gave the best representation of
England in their works. Connally was especially intrigued following a
game in which his teammates engaged in a textbook discussion of human
physiology in relation one player’s ankle sprain.
Apart from his studies and travels with the basketball team, Connally
also took time to visit some of Great Britain’s most notable locations,
including Stonehenge and Scotland’s Mount Ben Nevis.
the whole Oxford environment extremely conducive to being a productive
student,” Connally said. “It’s a completely different environment both
culturally and academically.”
All of it was a complement
academically to Connally’s internship the previous summer, which he
found through The Washington Center – a nonprofit organization that
places students in internships in all areas of the nation’s capital.
was there that Connally worked in the Office of General Counsel for the
D.C. Metro Police – handling evidence for criminal trials as well as
subpoenas and depositions.
In between his overseas studies, he
took the LSAT exam and got accepted to the law schools at Georgetown and
Duke universities and is awaiting a decision from several other law
UT Honors students Christine Guzman, Shane Twaddell and
Sonja Radmilovic were recently selected to participate in the Honors at
Oxford program for the spring semester.