KANSAS CITY, Mo. — From St. Thomas Aquinas to Ireland, Michael Baska never guessed the sport of rugby would take him so far.
He said as much Friday evening, sitting in a Dublin hotel room, separated from family and teammates as the USA Rugby 15s squad prepared for the second leg of an international test.
“Just to get a taste of it is incredible,” Baska said of his team USA debut via Zoom.
Though England defeated Baska’s side 43-29 at historic Twickenham, many raved about a resurgent second half for USA, which included a late try spurred on by Baska himself.
“I just feel blessed to be able to put on the jersey,” he said brimming ear-to-ear. “It’s a dream come true.”
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A standout senior with the Saints in 2012, Baska went on to win collegiate rugby titles at Lindenwood and Arkansas State.
Now a stalwart with Major League Rugby’s Utah Warriors, Baska embraces new experiences while looking back on his journey to the USA roster.
“(I’m) Really hoping to make my family proud and make my city proud and make our country proud,” Baska said.