Feature: Samantha Woods

Dec. 7, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Samantha Woods is showing how balanced life as a student-athlete can be. ‎

The redshirt sophomore from Bolingbrook, Ill., has learned to balance the demands of ‎playing sports and the challenges of schoolwork, and the lessons started in sixth grade ‎when Woods picked up the sport of basketball. ‎

She took it up because of her brother, Aaron, and her dad's recommendation. She said ‎she played almost every sport throughout her life, but basketball was the sport that ‎resonated with her the most. ‎

And after winning a high school state championship in 2006, and placing second in the ‎‎2007 state championship to round out her high school career, she chose Purdue to ‎continue her studies and her athletics.‎

‎"I always say it's the balance, the pieces of the pie that fit together," Woods said of what ‎drew her to West Lafayette. "I didn't know I wanted to do engineering, but after I came ‎here and saw the engineering side, I really liked it. It's a great school. And basketball, ‎well, that speaks for itself. It's amazing."‎ ‎ ‎ It also didn't hurt that her high school is the alma mater of another Purdue standout, Erin ‎Lawless. Woods said before she chose Purdue, she wasn't necessarily a Boilermaker ‎fan, but a Lawless fan. Woods played two years at Fenwick H.S. where Lawless played ‎before transferring to the highly successful Bolingbrook H.S. Seven of her former ‎teammates from Bolingbrook are playing Division I basketball as well.‎

Woods is currently majoring in chemical engineering, which is a four and half to five ‎year program. She said the team and the coaching staff was supportive of her major ‎and its demands from the start, something that Woods found lacking at other schools. ‎



After playing in 26 games as a freshman, Woods made the decision to redshirt her ‎sophomore year in order to concentrate on her challenging class load. The decision will ‎allow her to stretch out her basketball career at Purdue, as well as her classes.‎

She said that by being able to get ahead last year, as well as additional summer ‎classes, she has found this semester to be easier than the previous years.‎

‎"What I've learned is that when I get finished with practice, I can't just wait around too ‎much," she said. "But every year it gets easier to balance."‎


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