Karangwa paves a path to Europe

"It just kind of happened," said Michelle. "Neither one of us imagined [at the time] that it would turn into marriage one day."

"I guess being tall and playing basketball gave us similiar interests," said Karangwa.

Karangwa did a lot of traveling after graduating from Siena in 2003. He played on the Canadian national basketball team for four years, which gave him the chance to play alongside NBA star Steve Nash and against the likes of Manu Ginobli, Yao Ming and Peja Stojakovic.

But it was his time playing for European pro teams that gave Karangwa his biggest challenge: trying to live in countries where he didn't know the language. Even when he played in France, he found that the French he knew growing up in Montreal wasn't accepted there.

"In France, they don't even consider us to be French," said Karangwa. "Our French wasn't the same as their French."

Michelle said she had to become bilingual in order to communicate with Karangwa's mother. "It took about two years" to learn the language, she said.

Now back in Colonie, the couple are getting used to living the American suburban life.

"I think it was harder for him because he's a city guy," said Michelle. "But I definitely miss Paris. We had a great life there."

Karangwa asid he plans on traveling to Europe several times a year to "keep in touch with the leagues and how they're playing.""

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