Athlete of the Week: Atem Bior

Julia Maenius, Assistant sports editor

Senior forward Atem Bior has established himself as the sixth man for the men’s basketball team since his arrival at UTSA from the land down under. A transfer from the New Mexico Military Institute, Bior has traveled the globe, keeping basketball a constant in his life.

“When I was about eight, I would go to the park and play every once in a while, but I started playing officially with a team when I was 14, in grade nine,” Bior said.

Originally from South Sudan, Bior moved to Australia when he was seven years old. He continued advancing in his basketball career, playing in high school and eventually in junior college.

“I played in high school over there at St. James College and then I came over to America to prep school down in Florida,” Bior said.

While Bior is an essential player for the Roadrunners, averaging 18.3 minutes per game, his first love was soccer.

“I was a soccer player first, and I had gotten a little too tall, so everybody said to go try basketball,” Bior said. “Ever since I tried it and took it seriously, it has opened so many doors for me. I have to give it everything I have every day.”

Reaching his season high of nine rebounds in one game, Bior was recruited to UTSA for his junior season. He has continued to contribute to the ‘Runners’ defense and offense, with multiple long distance baskets.

“Coach Hood reached out to me when I was in the New Mexico Military at junior college, and we built a little relationship when I was there,” Bior said. “I ended up meeting Coach Henson and the whole coaching staff when I came on my visit, and it just felt like home. They told me to trust my gut, and that’s what I did.”

Bior pulls inspiration from Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant. He also enjoys listening to music, playing video games and hanging out with friends. Bior has a love of R&B music, and his secret talent is playing piano–– kind of.

“I can play one song on the piano, but that’s about it,” Bior laughed.

Bior has a unique pre-game ritual so he can be focused come tipoff.

“Every home game after our pregame workout, I’ll shower before we get started with the game,” Bior said. “Nobody else does that.”

Bior is a kinesiology major with plans to pursue physiotherapy in the future. He also plans to incorporate basketball into his life after graduation.

“I would love to continue playing basketball, but with my degree in kinesiology, I would love to become a coach or anything to do with basketball down in Australia or here in the States,” Bior said.

As Bior wraps up his final season, he reflects on the environment around him and the impact it has had on his life.

“Getting on the court and everything has been my dream, and the people I have met here have been fantastic and so supportive,” Bior said. “I feel like I have a relationship with a lot of people here, way beyond my two years here.”