April 20, 2024

Childhood friends leave Puerto Rico for baseball opportunities

This archived article was written by: Jordan Mellen

Freshmen Christian Bonilla and Alex Franco from Puerto Rico made a life changing decision by choosing to come to the United States to pursue a college education and the opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level.
Both Franco and Bonilla were excited to come to the U.S. from the time they made the decision to do so. They have known each other and been playing baseball together since they were 12 years old. Knowing that they would be roommates made the decision to come to Utah State University Eastern a lot easier and more exciting for the two of them.
A year ago, neither Franco or Bonilla would have ever guessed that they would be atteding USU Eastern. While playing on a big league team together in Puerto Rico, both Franco and Bonilla were able to commit to USU Eastern after a phone call from their local coach and some pitching film.
There are a lot of differences between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, but the most obvious one is the difference in primary laungage. The biggest lifestyle change the two USU Eastern baseball players had to make was the transition from speaking Spanish to speaking English.
“At first learning English was difficult, but it got easier after being around people who speak it fluently. At first it was easier to understand English than to speak it, but that got easier too,” says Bonilla.
After being in Price for almost a full semester, both Puerto Rican residents are doing well both academically and athletically. “I enjoy the opportunity I have to get the college education that I’m getting, as well as being able to play baseball. I love my team and all of the friends that I have made since being here,” says Franco.
Both Bonilla and Franco are happy with the decision to come to USUE, and they look forward to the upcoming semester and the baseball season.