By Chris McBride
Long-distance relationships can be difficult to maintain — even the strongest couple can have trouble. For Youngstown State University nursing student Bayleigh Ammon and former YSU basketball player Bobby Hain, 4,000 miles hasn’t gotten in their way of their two-year relationship.
Hain moved to Switzerland after being signed with professional basketball team, Villars Basket, in 2016. The two had been dating for over a year at the time of the move.
The two met in Warehouse 50 and hit it off immediately. They exchanged numbers and the relationship blossomed from there.
On their first official date at Asuka, a sushi restaurant in Boardman, Hain experienced a nightmare dating scenario.
“I remember I got there and I thought I left my wallet at home so I was freaking out,” Hain said. “I was gonna feel so bad if she had to pay for it so I rushed to my car to look for it.”
Luckily, Hain was able to retrieve his wallet and laugh off the moment with Ammon. After three months of talking, Hain then decided to make things official and asked Ammon to be his girlfriend at one of their favorite restaurants.
From that point on in their relationship, Ammon said that she and Hain kept each other grounded.
“He’d make sure I was calm when I stressed and kept me from getting side tracked,” Ammon said.
Ammon also made it a priority to not miss any of Hain’s games.
After Hain suffered a season ending injury during his final season, he began contemplating what his life outside of YSU would look like.
“Overseas was my first choice, with my stats I was still being recruited by agents despite my foot injury,” Hain said.
With that, Hain left for Switzerland. They spent their last week together in Hain’s home of Jupiter, Florida, fishing and eating at Ammon’s favorite restaurants.
The couple both agreed the first two weeks apart were, by far, the hardest. While the transition was hard for the couple initially, it was something they worked out together.
“It worked out fine with the six-hour difference,” Hain said. “[She’s] a morning person. She’d wake up early and it’s around noon my time.”
Thanks to technology, 4,000 miles at times felt minimal. Regardless, the couple were determined to reunite face to face.
During winter break 2015, Ammon made the long trip to Zurich, Switzerland to visit Hain after months apart.
It’d been 110 days exactly since they last saw each other.
First thing they did was explore Zurich’s Christmas Market. From there they’d take a train to Fribourg, where Hain stayed in Switzerland.
Their last stop before Ammon left was Paris to see the Eiffel Tower — visiting in time to see it light up and share a New Year’s kiss.
The second parting would prove to be harder than the first for Ammon, who took a train to catch her plane at the airport.
“It was hard to say goodbye sitting on the train with him standing outside waving goodbye,” Ammon said.
Ammon, now a senior, returned to YSU to finish earning her nursing degree. After graduation, Ammon plans on visiting Hain for three months before coming back to America to find a job.
Hain will be coming back to America as well, although briefly, depending on where he signs his next contract.