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Balancing Medicine and Basketball: Tetero’s Remarkable Journey

Usually, people choose one career, the one you always say you would be when you grow up. But what about people who wanted to become doctors and basketball players? Yes, those do exist. You’ll be amazed to hear how 25-year-old Tetero Odile harmonizes her two passions: medicine and basketball.

In the midst of her demanding medical duties at Nyarugenge Hospital, Tetero Odile is also a player for APR Women’s Basketball Club (WBBC), and she has excelled in the Kamarampaka “betPawa Playoffs” this year.

In our interview, this multi-talented individual shared her experience juggling two completely different fields – her medical career and her basketball journey – and how she managed to excel in both.

Tetero Odile, a 25-year-old native of Karongi District in the Bwishyura sector, grew up in Kibuye. She revealed that she fell in love with basketball when she was in school and decided to pursue it seriously.

“I started playing basketball at Gatwaro Stadium, where there are two courts (for basketball and volleyball). I joined everything. I even started attending a basketball school.”

She continued, “I fell in love with basketball in 2010 when I was in primary school. I began playing competitively in 2015, and I’ve been in the game ever since.”

Tetero explained, “I started at IPRC, but I didn’t perform well there. It was in 2017 that I realized I could become a good player. In 2021, I joined REG WBBC, and I’ve been with APR WBBC since.”

Tetero has become a standout player in the “betPawa Playoffs” over the years, helping APR WBBC secure the championship title multiple times.

Apart from her athletic achievements, Tetero has also been actively working as a healthcare professional at Nyarugenge Hospital, where she specializes in wound care. She mentioned that her job and basketball are both demanding, but she wouldn’t trade either of them for the world.

“In my everyday life, I work at Nyarugenge Hospital, focusing on wound care. It’s essential, and it also helps support basketball. In essence, it’s all about balancing.”

She added, “One good thing about my job is that it allows me to stay active. It’s beneficial in many ways. It’s about giving back.”

Tetero also highlighted her daily routine, emphasizing the importance of time management.

“On a regular day, I work from 2 PM to 10 PM. After that, I continued with my basketball training until around midnight. The next day, I start my morning practice at 10 AM because the rest of the team starts at 10. So, I find a way to fit everything in.”

While Tetero has achieved much success in basketball and her medical career, she acknowledges that balancing the two can be challenging.

“Yes, basketball is a skill that shapes a person positively when done correctly. However, it’s not always easy because not all teams perform well. But it can also build character, especially among young players.”

Tetero Odile is one of the players who contributed to Rwanda’s national basketball team’s historic victory in the African Cup, with the women’s team triumphing in 2019 and the men’s team in 2009.

She believes that the leadership and recruitment of talented players are essential for success.

“It takes a lot for a team to win a championship, including leadership, strengthening our roster, and more. At APR WBBC, we’ve succeeded in developing top local and international players.”

She continued, “We’ve improved our leadership, which has given us strength and determination in everything. It’s a change that our fans have noticed. And, of course, it comes down to the players.”

Although many basketball players in Rwanda pursue other careers, Tetero believes that a top-tier player can also excel in another profession.

“Yes, basketball can be a stepping stone for a person, provided they excel. It’s not just about playing; it’s about achieving greatness because not all teams are equal. But it can certainly open doors.”

As for the future, Tetero hopes to continue her successful journey, contributing to her team and helping Rwanda in international competitions.

“We are currently in a transitional period, and we have a lot to achieve. We will compete in various tournaments and face strong opponents. We have put in a lot of effort, especially during the ‘Zone 5’ competition in February.”

Tetero’s journey includes significant dedication, hard work, and perseverance. She has overcome challenges, including injuries, and remains committed to her daily workouts.

“I have a dedicated personal trainer who helps me with ball handling and shooting, which greatly improves my skills on the court. Furthermore, I believe in putting in extra effort to win.”

She concluded, “Afterward, I engage in strength training to ensure I’m physically competitive. I’m also fortunate to live in Nyamirambo, so in the evening, I head to the stadium to work on my fitness and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Lastly, there is an ongoing debate about whether female athletes can engage in intensive strength training without losing their feminine qualities. Tetero believes that, while some may have concerns, it’s essential to prioritize personal growth.

“Yes, the debate exists, and some say that engaging in gym workouts can change a person’s appearance. However, I think it’s important to focus on personal development. Growing as an individual is crucial, and you have to embrace it.”

Tetero mentioned fellow female basketball players like Nelly Sandra, Micomyiza Rosine, Kantore Sandra ‘Dumi’ Nicole, and Umugwaneza Charlotte, who are all remarkable in their own right. Outside of Rwanda, she admires Stephen Curry and cheers for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.

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