Northwestern State University alumni and former Northwestern State Lady Demon Shahd Abboud has been awarded the MVP of the Israeli Female Basketball Premier League in her third year.
Abboud has been on a journey to develop her basketball career by making numerous stops to gain experience to help her achieve her goals of playing professional basketball.
After playing in high school, Shahd traveled to Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Texas, playing two years there before transferring to NSU for her final two years.
By transferring to NSU, Shahd would receive a better opportunity to display her talents and to finish her final college years in a place that she could call home.
“What really drew me to NSU was the family-friendly atmosphere around me, especially being away from home,” Abboud said. “It was a big deal for me.”
After graduation, she traveled back home to play in the Israelian Female Basketball Premier League.
Transitioning from college to professional basketball was an adjustment for Shahd but staying ready and grounded went a long way.
“I learned a lot playing at NSU,” Abboud said. “Mental toughness was one of the main things I learned, and it has helped me tremendously. I learned how to give my best every day and to set an example to everyone around me and work hard.”
The hard work mentality came into play in her rookie season where she was learning to adjust to the European basketball rules, the professional lifestyle and competing against other professional athletes.
Throughout her tenure in the league, Abboud quickly transitioned from the rookie to the team captain.
“I had a decent season for a first year and signed back with the team for my second year and was the team captain,” Abboudsaid. “I tried my best to lead the team both on and off the court, but I felt basketball-wise I wasn’t consistent enough. I signed with a new team this season and was able to improve my play and help lead others.”
Accepting her role as a leader, Abboud won her first MVP award averaging a stat line of 12.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game this year.
With winning MVP in her home country, Abboud couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to represent her country and family.
“It’s special because my family were about to watch me throughout the whole season and have been a huge part of my success,” Abboud said. “For them to see my hard work payingoff is very special to me.”
Winning the MVP in her home country was a long-time dream, but she knows as a third-year pro, she still has room to improve and become even better.
“It means a lot, but also not enough,” Abboud said. “On one hand I feel like I finally got the recognition and respect I have been working so hard for. It was a very rewarding moment for me because I work hard to be the best version of myself every day, and it paid off this season. On the other hand, it gives me motivation to continue to strive and be better because I know I still have a long way to go.”
Abboud encourages college students to work hard and follow their dreams, regardless if they’re a student athlete or not.
Abboud hopes that she can serve as an example of hard work and dedication to the students of NSU.
“I would say to student athletes at NSU to cherish every moment and make the best out of it because you can’t get those years back,” Abboud said. “If you have a dream to pursue a professional career, go for it and don’t let anything stop you because it is worth the hard work you put in.”