As Duke Athletics wraps up yet another successful calendar year, we wanted to look back at interviews with inductees of the Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016—Individuals who not only contributed to the university’s achievements, but laid the foundation for those to follow.
Today’s feature highlights our conversation with women's golf standout Virada Nirapathpongporn.
Alright, here with Virada Nirapathpongporn, better known as ‘Oui’, so ‘Oui,’ just the idea of coming to America, obviously for high school you were here before coming to Duke, but what challenges did that present? What was it like moving literally all the way across the world then continuing your career at Duke?
Well, the biggest challenge actually started when I first moved to America that was three years prior to Duke, so I was sort of already college prepped throughout my high school. The things about doing my own laundry, picking up my mail and stuff like that, I didn’t really have any transition issue. But playing on a college level even though I came in as one of the leading junior golfers. But you know when in college I’m playing against the juniors or seniors with all of their experiences I remember being really nervous at my first NCAA event but I had lots of goals and dreams to achieve here, so I was very focused on my time while I was here.
This program has won more national championships than any here at Duke. The women’s golf program has won more than basketball, more than everybody. Six is the most. So what is it like to be a part of that history or obviously helping to add to that total? What’s it like to be a part of the Duke’s women’s golf program looking back?
I think it’s going to be a record that can stay with me maybe no matter what goes on no matter what anybody said is the record that I can say that, hey, I’ve been a part of that really strong women’s team in the United States and it’s just a really proud moment for me. I think I’ve achieved a lot, and just really glad to be a part of this.
One person that has been a part of all of them is Dan Brooks, your coach, and he’s going in he’s being inducted in the same year as you which you obviously already know. But have you had a chance to think about maybe how special that is to go in with your coach? First of all, not a lot of people get into the Hall of Fame to begin with here at Duke, but to go in with your coach…even fewer people get a chance to do that.
You’re right, not a lot of people go into these things. I’m surprised myself that I was even considered, but here I am and going in with coach Brooks. Another surprise, why is he going in so early? *laughs* But to cap off everything that’s already been wonderful in my Duke career. This is the highest it’s ever going to get.
Thanks ‘Oui’. Appreciate it.