L.A. To Italy And Back: Shannon Norton's "Best Summer Ever"

L.A. To Italy And Back: Shannon Norton's "Best Summer Ever"

BOSTON, Mass. – Relaxing on the beaches of Los Angeles. Working as a TV production assistant in Hollywood. Playing basketball and traveling all over Italy as a member of the USA Athletes International Team. Just another summer for Shannon Norton of the Emerson Women's Basketball Team. 

In an experience she dubbed as "the best summer of my life," junior TV Production major Shannon Norton got the opportunity to experience Emerson's L.A. Summer Program while working for Swift River Productions under fellow Emersonian Paul Morra.  

In addition, Norton was invited to represent her country as a member of Team USA's Athletes International Team, comprising women basketball players from all over the country in various tiers of NCAA levels. For a photo gallery of Norton's adventures, please click here.

Emerson Athletics was able to catch up with the incredibly busy Emersonian right before the Women's Basketball Team kicks off its 2012–2013 campaign this weekend.

What were some of the most memorable parts of the experience, both in the L.A. Program and travelling abroad playing basketball?

First, just the pure experience of Italy. It was my first trip to Europe, and every aspect of it was incredible. The culture, the food, even the change in competition as well as having teammates from all over the country. It really helped me to combine my passions of basketball and travel. My favorite place was absolutely Florence as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Just traveling around, taking Segway tours with my teammates, are things that I'll always remember.

The L.A. Program was an entirely other experience. While I loved L.A. and exploring its culture and beaches, it was truly a reassuring encounter that solidified what I want to go into for a career. I was lucky enough to work for an Emerson alumnus, Paul Morra. He owns Swift River Productions, which specializes in commercials and TV shows. I was involved with the E3 Gaming Convention and the ESPYs, as Xbox was one of our major clients. My time there helped ingrain me into the industry and where I'd like to work within it.

What did you learn most over the summer?

I think the major lessons I learned were more about the industry itself—its lingo and the details that go into it in order to be successful. Paul Morra really taught me the "business" of production and how important the connection of Emerson is. The alumni that have found success are very willing to help pay it forward to the next generation of Emersonians to help them succeed. In all, it really cemented what I want to do.

Describe your experience as an Emerson student-athlete.

I think the biggest part of my experience as an Emerson student-athlete has been that it's not just about basketball and what we do on the court. Couch Gould's number one priority is in making us better people and then better athletes.

I've realized now, headed into my junior season and as a transfer (from Suffolk), that what you take away from the experience is more than just the games and wins and losses. It's about what you take from the lessons you learn on the court and how you apply them to life. The combination of the amazing coaching staff that we have with making a lifelong family of friends and support make being a student-athlete one of the most important things in my experience at Emerson.

The Lions will kick off its 2012–2013 season this weekend as it sets to host its annual Tip-Off Tournament. Emerson will play Saturday at 1:00 pm against Green Mountain at the Brown-Plofker Gym in Boston.