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Maci Morris excited about Italian adventure — mother a little more cautious

Maci Morris with Jaida Roper. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

She admits she’s a bit nervous about going to Italy to pursue a professional basketball career but former University of Kentucky star Maci Morris is also ready to “take advantage of the opportunity” in front of her.

She averaged 15.1 points per game her senior year at UK and made 75 3-pointers. Her 45.2 percent accuracy from 3-point range was sixth best in the nation but she still went undrafted in the WNBA draft. That led her to sign with the USE Basket Lions in Empoli, Italy — which is about 30 minutes from Florence.
 
She will know at least two players playing in the same league and says a couple of American men will be playing in the same area.

“It’s going to be different but they take care of my transportation (to Italy), getting me a place to live and also supply us with a car,” Morris said. “I hope to get out and see a lot while I am there. Any break I have, I plan to travel and see as much as I can.”

Her mother, Patti Morris, is excited for the chance Maci has to play in Italy but also worried because she “can’t get to her” like she could during Maci’s playing career at UK.

“She has been away (from home) but only two hours. I am going to miss her and have to get used to it. I am thrilled she has this opportunity. She has worked hard for it and deserves it but we are going to miss her,” Morris’ mother said.

But not for long.

“I think that is where we are spending our fall break. Hopefully she is playing by then and we get to go,” Patti Morris said about the future plans her and her husband have to visit Italy in October to see Maci play.

Maci’s mother says she’s always been “very independent” and is confident her daughter will adapt to living in a new country.

“I don’t worry she will make a poor decision like going somewhere by herself or being somewhere she should not be. I am not too worried about that part,” Patti Morris said.

She does have one worry, though, about her daughter.

“I think she will get homesick just because she loves me so much. She will miss me more than I miss her,” Patti Morris laughed and said.

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