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“Since I was very young academics and athletics were emphasized. Coming to Minot, it was important to do well in both.”
Luis Ricci Maia, senior, marketing, international business, and finance

University Communications

Senior Spotlight: Luis Ricci Maia

Maia knows no boundaries when it comes to success

MINOT, N.D. – At age 19, Luis Ricci Maia was playing professional basketball in Brazil while taking classes to become an engineer. The demands of both were proving to be overwhelming for Maia who didn’t want to give up either passion, but his current path didn’t appear to be sustainable.

The solution to Maia’s problem came in the form of a scholarship offer to play basketball at a U.S. university in North Dakota — Minot State.

“Coming to the United States was very appealing to me,” Maia said. “It meant I could still play basketball while continuing to pursue my education.”

The son of a dentist and school psychologist, Maia was aware of the importance of taking education seriously. He exceled academically earning a place in one of Brazil’s top public schools.

Growing up in Franca, Sao Paulo — known as the city that breathes basketball in a country of soccer — Maia proved to be an exceptional talent on the basketball court, which was no surprise to his parents who both played, and met through basketball. Maia went on to earn a place on the national team at 15.

Four years later, Maia landed at Minot International Airport to begin his academic and athletic career with the Minot State Beavers.

“Since I was very young academics and athletics were emphasized. Coming to Minot, it was important to do well in both,” he said.

Maia connected immediately with his new coach and teammates.

“Coach Murken understands that international student athletes bring a different background and life experience to the court,” Maia said. “It meant a lot to play for a coach that was interested in recruiting international talent.”

The NCAA required Maia to redshirt his first year in Minot, which gave him plenty of time to focus on academics. He opted to pursue a double major in marketing and international business. Always the diligent student, Maia completed both degrees with one year of eligibility left to play basketball. So he pursued a third degree in finance.

“I’ve always been good with numbers, but I also want to work with people,” Maia said of his decision to pursue degrees in business. “Business is a nice balance between humanities and math. Sure there are numbers involved but it’s ultimately about relationships between people.”

Over a four-year period at Minot State, Maia has managed to excel on the court and in the classroom. Maia will walk away from Minot State with three bachelor’s degrees, a 3.9 GPA, all-conference honors in basketball (for which he was also a team captain). He also served as vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and treasurer of the Finance Club.

Highlights of Maia’s time at MSU include playing in front of his friends and family on senior night, attending the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder’s meeting in Omaha with the MSU Finance Club, and performing in the spring 2018 theatre production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Ultimately, Maia’s greatest takeaway from Minot State will be the people he has met.

“Invest time with people,” he said. “Everybody is so unique, you can learn so much from those relationships.”

For more on Minot State's 2018 Commencement, please click HERE.

Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.


Published: 05/11/18

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