Heartbreak to happiness: Sami Durante's emotional journey to LSU
Baton Rouge, LA - "I never imagined competing especially for the best bar lineup in the country and to lead them off is such an honor."
Sami Durante isn't just leading off, she's setting the tone.
The LSU freshman, although quiet at the mic is powerful on the bars, averaging a 9.85 with three 9.9's on the year. And this week she's hoping for her best yet as the Tigers try to take down her hometown team.
"She's done a great job competing with a lot of focus and a lot of intensity," says head coach D-D Breaux."And going home you don't want to have vengeance meet. You want to just go in and compete and do the best you can do."
Sami's success here in Baton Rouge hasn't come easy, after all she was supposed to go to Georgia and compete for her mother in Athens.
But after five seasons, Danna Durante was fired and her daughter was left with nowhere to go.
That's until former former Georgia Coach Jay Clark and LSU welcomed her to the bayou with open arms.
"It was very hard it was heartbreaking. But it meant a lot and it was nice to realize that other people notice you. This has been an amazing experience and I wouldn't change it for anything."
"To her, it's not been about anything in the past," says Clark. "She saw this opportunity and she saw the chance to join a program on the verge of doing something special and win that first national championship and she wanted to be a part of that."
Now Sami is a part of a team and a family, listening to Jay's advice to fight through adversity.
"Not to worry about what other people are thinking about you. We're going to Georgia so obviously I'm a little worried about what people are going to think but I can't worry about it so he's helped me calm down but he's an amazing person and he's always there to take care of you."
And Sami hopes to take care of business back home with her mother watching and cheering her on from the stands.