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  • Writer's pictureGriffles Baller

Catching up with Alumni II

This is the second of a series of posts where we will catch up with our ex-ballers who have graduated and gone onto further studies or have started work. We will hear snippets about their life in Raffles back then and how they are currently faring as well.

Hope these posts will continue to inspire our young Raffles Ballers as they seek to bring glory to the school and look forward to a bright future ahead!

For today, we will be catching up with Lily Yang (Batch of 2015) who is currently studying in a local university....

Lily (far right)


Griffles: Hi Lily, thanks for taking time out of your busy study schedule to share with us how your time at Raffles and Raffles Basketball was like.

How was Basketball training like for you and your teammates?

Lily: Training was tough haha! Class ended quite late, and training was 6-8pm thrice a week. This included drills, strategies, and usually ended with a game. There was conditioning every Friday, which I looked forward to because Mr Tay always made it fun and challenging for us, and we blasted music too.


Griffles: Ah yes, training times are still as late as during your time. But hopefully things will get better soon!! (*Hint Hint*)

How about any difficulties you faced during your days as a student/baller and how did you cope?

Lily: In JC, I was also in the Taekwondo team, and had some Raffles Academy stuff (haha). At the same time, I was also commonly scolded by Coach (haha again), due to my lack of confidence on court. Some days I felt really overwhelmed, but in these times of despair, I turned to my family and friends for help. Mr Tay was also super nice and ready to listen and help.

Lily visiting RI after graduating.


Griffles: Looks like you were really stretched during your Yr1-6 days and it is pretty amazing how you balanced your academic workload and CCA commitments. A close knit support structure of family and friends is really key to survival in Raffles.

What life lessons did you learn through playing Basketball such that it made a difference in your life later on?

Lily: Being a less experienced and skillful player meant I got scolded a lot, but that was when I learned the most. I learned to be more tenacious, to not be afraid or ashamed of making mistakes. Being a Vice-Captain also required me to work more closely with not just our team, but also the coaches and teachers.

Today, the tenacity and interpersonal skills I learned have helped me navigate the challenges in Medical school, as well as in the Singapore Armed Forces (especially during Officer Cadet School!).


Griffles: That is great to hear. Truly some values like resilience/tenacity can only be learnt by going through tough times. Wow!! You signed on with the army too!! Cool...Future Capt Lily!

Do share with us why you embarked on this path with the Armed Forces.

Lily: My passion for Medicine stems from my interest in the Science, but also, the Art - the ability to reduce suffering for a fellow human being, to fight on, or just journey together with patients.

I signed on, because the values that the SAF Medical Corps stand for are those that resonate with me. Before embarking on this journey, I knew, and was prepared for the sacrifices. However, I believe that I am able to do my best towards this meaningful cause, and I am grateful to be given this chance to serve.


How is life like in university or working for the SAF?

Lily: Life is challenging, but fulfilling, and it is truly a blessing to be given these opportunities.

This year marks the beginning of my clinical journey, as a year three medical student. We are learning to be more adept at the Science, and the Art of Medicine. Outside Academics, I also derive joy from running half-marathons, Varsity Taekwondo, and research.

The SAF Medical Corps is like a second home. Among nurturing seniors and close friends, I feel a strong sense of belonging and ownership to this family <3

Are you still playing Basketball in University?

Lily: Yes, can't bear to abandon Basketball! I play for recreation mostly, as well as represent Medicine in Faculty games

Lily (4th from the right)

Finally, what advice or words of encouragement would you like to provide to the current Raffles Basketballers? 

Lily: To my dear juniors, your time in Raffles Basketball will be the one of the toughest, yet most amazing experiences. Work hard, play hard. Most importantly, always take heart in what you do, and I hope that through this journey, you forge strong relationships, and grow to be a better person.

The Good Old Days

Griffles: Thank you very much Lily for taking time out to answer our questions and to update us on how you are faring. It's great to see our ballers graduate and continue to do well in whichever areas they have entered into. All the best for your studies and service to our nation and see you back on our Homecourt during Gryphon's Cup 2019!!

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