Charlotte Ellmore prepares to pass the ball.

Charlotte Ellmore prepares to pass the ball. Ellyson Ortega/The Paisano

Choices define us. Each choice can lead you down a path of success or failure. Charlotte Ellmore made a choice that led her more than 5,000 miles from her home and family, but that choice led her to discover a new family and a new culture.

The UTSA freshman point guard was born in Essex, England on May 12, 2000. She’s played sports all of her life including soccer, tennis and, of course, basketball. Her path towards basketball was relatively uneventful and fairly common, but it all began with a choice. Her mother Kate Ellmore asked her in the car if there were any other sports that Charlotte was interested in. Casually, she mentioned her interest in basketball, and with one word she began a journey that led her into a whole new world.

Soccer is a sport synonymous with England. There have only been 10 players either born or raised in the United Kingdom to make the NBA, and only two WNBA players. Charlotte was exceptional at both soccer and basketball, which left her with another choice. Soccer runs in her blood. Her father and grandfather each played soccer. Her grandfather climbed to heights of top tier English football with premier league regular, West Ham United. Ellmore herself compared her soccer abilities to that of Aaron Ramsey, the captain and first team mainstay of her favorite club, Arsenal.

“I don’t know why I chose basketball, I just felt a better connection with it,” Ellmore said.

This unspoken connection turned out to be the right choice, and she took her talents to the Barking Abbey club team. Ellmore’s natural talent showed, as she has only played basketball for five years and helped guide her club to the Women’s Elite Academy Basketball League championship. Ellmore averaged 18 points, six rebounds and four assists per game which earned her MVP and WEABL Player of the Year honors. Her amazing athleticism was recognized, and Ellmore was called up for Great Britain’s under 18 national team.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Ellmore said. “Going out there, singing the national anthem every single time, it’s an amazing experience.”

Ellmore continued her impressive point guard play, averaging 12 points per game and catching the attention of a new Roadrunners coach. Second-year head coach Kristen Holt recruited Ellmore to UTSA and one major factor gave her the clarity she needed to choose the UTSA family.

“Everyone in England, when you play basketball, you aspire to come to America,” Ellmore said. “When I came here I connected with the team really, really well. Being so far from home you really want that family feel.”

A 4,000-mile move is daunting for anyone, but this move would prove especially difficult because of the culture shock that would come with it. One of the most difficult changes for Ellmore when she moved was the similar but different language being spoken. Being born and raised in the U.K. comes with an entirely different set of words and phrases that Americans have no clue about. The reverse is true with British people, and this difference is evident when Ellmore is out with her teammates. What a majority of Americans would call a “cart” at your local HEB, Ellmore refers to as a “trolly.” The difficulty of leaving her family and her country took its toll on Ellmore, but she’s still focusing on her one goal.

“I want to keep improving every year,” Ellmore said. “That’s the biggest thing for me and being able to contribute more to my team. I’m hoping next year I can contribute more than I am now.”

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