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What It Was Like For Emma Anthony In The Transfer Portal

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(Photo from Emma Anthony's Twitter)

The college softball transfer portal has boomed in recent years, allowing student-athletes to move between programs in an effort to find their perfect fit.

For Emma Anthony, a native of Bradenton, Fla. and college junior, her experience in the transfer portal last year offered her a chance to find the best opportunity possible for the remainder of her college experience.

After spending her freshman year in 2021 at East Carolina University, Anthony transferred to Southern Illinois University for the 2022 season, where she found a school and softball program that she says was a better fit for her.

Softball America caught up with Anthony, who played travel ball for the Tampa Mustangs – TJ and graduated high school in 2020, about what her experience in the portal was like and how she landed where she did.

Softball America: Why did you decide to enter the transfer portal in 2021?

Emma Anthony: For most athletes in their college careers, they stay at one school for all four years or all their eligibility. In my case, I decided to transfer schools after my freshman year. Sometimes a school, coaching staff, team or area is just not meant for you, and you don’t find that out until you have already gotten to the school. It does not necessarily mean there is something wrong with the program. Not every school is meant for every player. You just have to find your right fit.

SA: What was it like to be in the transfer portal?

EA: Entering the transfer portal was stressful at times for me. Even though I knew it was what I wanted, the process can be complicated.

SA: How were you able to get recruited by Southern Illinois out of the transfer portal?

EA: When I was getting recruited in the portal, I still had connections to coaches that recruited me when I was younger, so that made my transfer process a lot easier and quicker than others'.

SA: Are you happy with your decision to transfer?

EA: The portal gave me a new home and a second chance to play the sport I love. Deciding to transfer was one of the most stressful yet rewarding experiences of my life. I would not change my decision for anything.

SA: What is something you wish you knew before you went into the transfer portal?

EA: One thing I wish I knew when entering the portal was not to rush the process. Give it time and thought as to where you want to go because it is your second chance at finding a place you love, and you do not want to make the same mistake twice.

SA: What is your best piece of advice for other college softball players who are thinking about transferring?

EA: If anyone is at a school and is not happy, for whatever reason, then they should think about going into the portal and finding the school that fits them and makes them happy because that is the most important priority.

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