Birdsong hopeful for fresh start

Published 10:07 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

Former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy standout Harper Birdsong is excited about the fresh start she hopes to get at the College of William & Mary.

The future is looking exciting for a particular former VISAA girls’ basketball standout. Birdsong’s pending transfer to William & Mary from George Washington University was announced in April. Birdsong played one season at GWU before deciding it was in her best interest to transfer schools.

The coach that originally recruited Birdsong to GWU left the program. From the beginning, Birdsong figured her freshman season wasn’t going to go as planned. She finished her freshman season with 11 points in very limited action and was 2-8 from the three-point line.

Email newsletter signup

“It was a really bad fit for me from the beginning,” Birdsong said. “I was unhappy with my playing situation, and everything didn’t go how I liked it to.”

The hardest part in her decision was the time she had at the school before she decided to transfer. After talking it over with everyone, she felt relieved. She tried to remain positive throughout the whole year but realized at the end a decision needed to be made. Everyone around her was supportive of her decision, she said.

During her recruiting process last year, Birdsong felt that she should have chosen William & Mary to begin with. However, she is now where she feels she belongs and has a year of experience under her belt and an extra year to get better due to NCAA transfer rules. She has to sit out a year before she can be eligible to play for her new school.

The Suffolk native was also looking at the bigger picture when it came to her decision. She is glad to be closer to home and hopes to grow as a basketball player. Lastly, she hopes attending William & Mary will put her in a good position to get a good job right after she graduates.

“It’s great knowing my friends and family are close,” she said. “You realize how important that is after not really seeing them for a year.”

While Birdsong sits out a year, she is excited about her development as a basketball player.

“They are very good at player development,” Birdsong said of the William & Mary program. “Participating in workouts and practices will make a huge difference in a year.”

Birdsong is currently at summer school in Williamsburg along with getting summer workouts in.

At NSA, she was the VISAA Division II State Player of the Year and conference Player of the Year. To go along with that, she has been on numerous all-conference and all-state teams. During the 2015-2016 season, she helped NSA reach the state title game.