Since late May, All-American Mia Morrison ’19 has been living and working in Costa Rica, playing professional basketball for Coopenae San Ramón in the country’s first division for women’s basketball. Her team was tied for second place as of July 30 with the playoffs right around the corner.
“I’ve loved this experience,” Morrison says of her three months in the Central American country. “I completely enjoy it here. The people are amazing. Life is so simple and no one wants to live above their means, everyone’s happy. It’s truly amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience right after graduating college. It’s like I’m on vacation while I’m getting to do what I love.”
Four days after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Morrison was in Costa Rica to begin her professional playing career. The story of how she got the opportunity began in the summer of 2016.
After producing 12.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots to earn All-Liberty League second team honors, Morrison and teammate Gabrielle Eure ’17 spent part of their summer on a college all-star team that played basketball and conducted basketball clinics in Costa Rica through Beyond Sports Tours.
Fast forward to her senior year, Morrison was named a D3hoops.com third team All-American, D3hoops.com East Region Player of the Year and the Liberty League Player of the Year. She averaged 18.8 points and 9.7 rebounds while leading the Herons to a 17-9 record and their third straight Liberty League Tournament appearance.
Morrison’s final game in a William Smith uniform was in the inaugural WBCA Senior All-Star Game, sponsored by Beyond Sports Tours. She scored a game-high 20 points and, more importantly for this story, ran into Josh Erickson, Beyond Sports co-founder and program director. The former head coach of Costa Rica’s men’s and women’s national basketball teams told Morrison about the opportunity with Coopenae San Ramón and she accepted.
Morrison’s performance on the court as a professional is reminiscent of her Heron career that saw her finish second in scoring (1,584) and blocked shots (89) and fifth in rebounds (845). She’s posted several double-doubles, including a pair against Goicoechea. On June 7, she burned the club for game-highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 77-43 win. Five weeks later, she posted 10 points and a game-high 13 boards as Coopenae San Ramón won 56-37.
The team is in its first year, so Morrison has found herself teaching certain aspects of the game to her teammates.
“I’m actually really enjoying it,” Morrison says. “It’s been a good experience, and it’s helped me further improve the mental toughness that Coach Sharman always preached.”
While preparing for the playoffs, Morrison is pondering the next step in her career. Her agency, Alfa Globe, has received inquiries from teams in Germany, Italy, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia, but may not be able to continue playing across the pond. Her contract with Coopenae San Ramón runs through the end of August, but her European suitors need her to arrive sooner.
If extending her playing career doesn’t work out, she plans to return to the states to begin the next chapter in her life. With the help of HWS’ Salisbury Center for Career Services, Morrison spent the summers of 2017 and 2018 interning with the Philadelphia Phillies, which sparked an interest in pursuing a career in the business side of sports.