Campus Celebrity: Reema Bzeih

This Week's Campus Celebrity is Reema Bzeih! She plays defense (more specifically left or right outside back) on the UCLA Women's Soccer team. Go Bruins! Despite how hectic is it to be both an athlete and a student, Reema balances it all with a smile, some laughter and funky dance moves. 

Year: Sophomore

Major: Environmental Science

Hometown: Michigan 

 

HC: How did you get started playing soccer? 

RB: Actually, I was originally a tennis player. I started playing tennis two years before I started soccer, and the reason my mom put me in soccer was to make my footwork better in tennis. After playing both sports competitively up until I was 11, my mom told me to pick one and I ended up picking soccer because I loved it so much!

HC: Would you say your mom is a major role model in your life?

RB: Both my mom and my dad are my role models, because they are living proof that hard work pays off. That giving up is not an option if you truly want to succeed. Also Roger Federer (he's a tennis player) because I admire his calm composure and maturity when he plays. Oh, and Serena Williams  because even when everyone said she was done, she came back dominating the game. Plus she's a beast. 

HC: How hard is it to balance both school and soccer? What does your daily schedule look like?

RB: It is difficult, but definitely manageable. A lot of it has to do with time management and being responsible. Time is an extremely valuable thing when you're balancing a sport and school (it's like balancing a job and school), so making sure I'm organized and always aware of when things are due and when tests are is essential. Plus, knowing which parts of the day I will be most awake and the least tired are key for helping me stay on track with studying.

Usually we have practice from 9-11 AM, then from 11AM-12PM we have weights and performance training. Then I go to class. During season, we usually have two games on the weekend

HC: That seems like a lot to handle. How has soccer affected your life outside of the classroom? 

RB: Soccer is more than a sport to me. I've had the privilege of traveling all around the United States and  even a foreign country, just for the sake of soccer. Not only that, but as I got older, I noticed that not many girls of my culture or ethnicity are seen on the soccer field because sports are not something that's typically encouraged for girls in our culture to do. I now like to think of myself as someone who's trying to make a stand for any girl out there who wants to chase her dream but can't because of the guidelines of those cultures that are not fair for women.  [Note: Reema is Lebanese]

HC: What's been your best experience either here at UCLA or on your team?

RB: My favorite experience at UCLA so far has been being able to connect with so many different kinds of people with their own unique stories. On our team, the best experience I've had is bonding with my teammates during the tough times we go through. During those moments, we're not just a team, we're a family, and we always know that when we step on the field we're not just playing for ourselves, but for each other. 

HC: Final question, what's the story behind your jersey number?(Go #66!)

RB: *Laughs* We had three choices for numbers and this number was my last choice because at the time I thought it sounded cool and I was so sure I wasn't going to get it... but then I did get it... only upside is that I know it's very unique and that no other UCLA soccer athlete has worn this number, so that's cool!

HC: Anything else you'd like to say?

RB: Just that, as cheesy as it sounds, you really have to believe in yourself if you want to achieve. College is honestly that in a nutshell, not just in sports but with everything.

 

If you'd like to see Reema be a beast on the field make sure to drop by Drake Stadium Friday at 6PM as they go against Colorado and Sunday at 1PM as they go against Utah.

Images courtesy of Helen Zapata and the  UCLA Women's Soccer Team Instagram.