This summer series will offer Commodore Nation an inside look into my fellow student-athletes experiences while away from Vanderbilt’s campus. Vanderbilt men’s basketball player Shelby Moats enjoyed a Maymester abroad studying in London. I was able to sit down and talk to him about his experiences academically, socially and athletically.
Liz Anderson: Recently you went to London. Can you tell me a little about your experience?
Shelby Moats: It was a great time. I had the best professor ever, Robert Driscoll, but I was allowed to call him Bob. We had class for an hour and a half every day, then we would go sightseeing during the day and could go out at night. It was a good mixture of everything. It was a fast three weeks, but it was really fun.
Despite the alluring aspects that the city of London had to offer, Shelby made it to class every day.
SM: I did make it to class every day. I guess it’s the athlete thing built in. We just have to make it, plus we had like 12 total classes and if I didn’t make it I would feel kind of lazy.
LA: What made you choose to go abroad to London as opposed to somewhere else?
SM: Athletic Director David Williams approached me about going abroad. He thought it was a good idea for me as well as the basketball team. London popped up as an option, they speak English, which I preferred, and while I took Spanish, I’m not that good at it.
LA: If you could pick your most enjoyable moment of the whole experience, what would it be?
SM: Definitely the sightseeing in the middle of the day was awesome; to be able to see all the touristy things that I had only seen in pictures. This time I was actually there. Specifically for St Paul’s Cathedral, you had to walk all the way to the top, but it was completely worth it because you had a 360 view of the city, which was awesome.
LA: You went with other Vanderbilt students but you were the only athlete, so you got to break out of that mold a little bit. How did that feel?
SM: It was great. Every single person on that trip was super cool. I got along with everyone. I was almost glad there weren’t other athletes there because then we would have stuck together and wouldn’t have broken out of that mold, like you said. I guess there could have been stereotypes of the dumb jock, but that was quickly erased because everyone was cool.
LA: Do you hang out with non-athletes while at school, or was this something new that you experienced in London?
SM: It’s something new in the fact that I was with them 24/7. I’m definitely used to hanging out with athletes all the time, so it was different but it was fun.
Moats acknowledged that he did need “me time” during the trip and would take time to walk around and explore the city on his own.
LA: As an athlete part of your job is to stay fit. Did you find it hard to workout while in London?
SM: Well, you walk everywhere, but I did find a gym a block away from where we were living. It was called Fitness First and I met the greatest people there. (Moats laughed) I was going to tell you my favorite thing about London was Fitness First [but he felt that that was a bit cliché for a student-athlete]. I would go in the morning and bike or lift. It was nice because I didn’t have to take a tube or bus to get to the gym before class. I definitely found time to workout.
Now that Moats is back on campus, he has his sights set on the year ahead. Here is an inside look to some of his expectations for the upcoming season.VIDEO