The bond between a mother and daughter is almost like looking at a reflection of oneself.
For Kenzy Shetta, her mom is basically Shetta herself.
“We both like to be in control, but she always wins because that’s my mom.”
The tennis player from Alexandria, Egypt, first found an interest in tennis when her mother, Amy DeAvegho, wanted her to join a sport.
After looking over every sport in her country club, she felt tennis was the sport for her; a sport where she could be in the sun and swing like a sea bird flying over the ocean.
“It’s just so tense when the ball is coming,” Shetta said.To view more videos, visit our Multimedia page.Shetta loves being in the sun, but when she came to Plattsburgh State she realized she would not be feeling the warm sun too often.
“I can’t do snow,”Shetta said. “When we go to the United States, you just go to the city (New York City), but seeing such a small town is cute. I like it.”
Shetta has wanted to attend an American college since a young age. She was already familiar with the culture and knows how to speak English. She even has U.S citizenship.
“The fact that she comes from Egypt has been a great topic of conversation,” head coach Annamarie Curle said.
But one main reason she came to America for her education was so her mom can have an excuse to visit her.
And though Shetta is an international student, her mother originally hailed Brooklyn, before moving to from Egypt.
A former tennis player for St. John University in Jamaica, Queens, DeAvegho now works three jobs: marketing consultant, a professor for the American University In Cairo and is the Executive Director for the International Natural Sausage Casing Association, the only international association for the natural sausage casing industry.
But there is more to these jobs than just the name.
DeAvegho works as a marketing consultant, helping other countries around the world.
Her teaching job is based in Cairo, Egypt, three hours away from Alexandria, where she lives.
She organizes the sausage casing conventions for INSCA, which take place in a new country every year.
Shetta said she wants to be just like her mother.
And she has, by being on tennis team, taking her education seriously all while being active in college clubs.
But the most important thing she gained from her mother was independence.
DeAvegho never worried about her daughter. Letting her do things on her own.
“She raised me to be really strong and I really respect that,” Shetta said, “and that’s how I want to be.”
With DeAvegho doing so much for her daughter, you would think Shetta would want to find some way to repay her mother for all she has done.
But all DeAvegho wants is for her daughter to follow what she loves.
The only way to repay her mom was to do whatever she always wanted to do: work for an advertising agency in a city.
Her mom’s influence and hard work makes Shetta think “I need to do this. I have to’ while learning.
And while she may count as an international student, some think of her as Americanized.
Shetta said people think that of her because they’re surprised that she knows holiday songs and speaks without an accent.
She even celebrates Christmas in Egypt.
Not all of Shetta’s teammates share the amount of travel and world experience she has under her belt.
“We’re taking a trip to Albany and it’s amazing to me on how many New York residents haven’t been to our state capitol,” Curle said. “So the fact that we have Kenzy bringing a whole new global perspective just enhances our experience.”
Shetta may be more than 5,000 miles away from her mom, but she doesn’t have to worry about distance.
“It’s hard, but I wanted this for so long, ” Shetta said. “I still feel close to her.”
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