Meet Gryphon Athlete Xandra “X” Yantzi

Hello reader, Lehigh, and the residence world of South Mountain Campus. My name is Xandra Yantzi, but you may know me as X. I simply cannot believe that this will be my fifth year on campus. Moving in to Dravo freshmen year is a memory still very fresh in my mind and my Lehigh adventure has been nothing short of spectacular; albeit, it has been challenging. But what’s life without a little challenge? 

I graduated with a double major, English and French, with the Class of 2014 (woop woop) this past spring. I am currently working toward my Masters of Secondary English Education. 

Without a little orange ball and a ten foot hoop, I never would have been given the opportunity to come to Lehigh. I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old, and if Michael Jordan was the best to play, my skill level was quite possibly at the other end of the spectrum. However, I loved the game and still do to this day. As years flew by, I worked hard, learned, and got a lot better, and the fall of my senior year, I decided to take my talents to South Mountain. 

Ball may be life, but I am no Lebron. I came to Lehigh excited to belong to a team and family.

            This year I will be on the Lehigh Rowing team! I am very excited. I have never been in a row boat before, and I couldn’t tell you about the first thing on maneuvering an oar, but I can’t wait to experience the meaning of teamwork in a completely new form. I know my love for basketball has always stemmed from teamwork and the beauty of some dishes and dimes to a bucket. That beauty would never come to fruition, if I didn’t have my teammates and friends. 

            I love people.  I love Lehigh because it gave me the opportunity to meet many amazing people, and be more than a basketball player. I was an Orientation Leader for two years. I have taken part in some spoken word groups and events. I love helping out in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and I’m always down to try something or meet someone that I never have before. Lehigh has opened so many doors for me and granted me the ability to consider new perspectives, and I am a better person for it. Of course, I am still learning about myself and the world around me. And that is also a beautiful thing. 

Some of my proudest and humbling moments at Lehigh have been during Student Life Leadership Award ceremonies. My junior year, I was awarded the Ujima Award, and my senior year, the Debbie Pearsall Award. Both times I was in awe with the love I felt from my Lehigh community. These awards were so important for me, because I saw them as a reflection of the people that stand beside me on this campus. We are all not perfect, but I know for a fact that I never could have won those awards had I not been supported and loved by faculty, coaches, staff, my peers, and friends. 

I use the word love a lot, and I think it will be a lifelong thing for me to seriously understand all that the word entails. But I do know that love is everywhere, and this campus will only continue to grow and find success the more we open ourselves to the idea of loving each other. 

One day, I hope to pass on my love to a classroom, as I would love to be a teacher. I plan to coach one day, and give back the gift of basketball and its opportunities to younger players. But above all, I hope to always learn, love and grow, and keep those around me happy, be it with a smile, a hug, or support. 

But anyway, If you see me around campus, say hi! I may beat you to it, but I’m not hard to miss. I’m the 6’5 girl dancing around campus. Literally. Dancing. Headphones on and all. I don’t bite, and I’d love to talk about anything from music, to sports, to the Lehigh Squirrels, to the color green, to what Rathbone served for dinner. Whatever. 

I hope everyone has an awesome year, and I hope everyone in their own individual way learns, loves and grows. I’m sure I’ll see you around.  

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