Early Wednesday evening, Boston University senior Kedzie Teller received an unexpected phone call that would send him overseas as a member of the first U.S. National Quidditch Team.
“I was a little confused because we had been told they would [release the names] on Friday,” Teller, who was a captain and chaser for BU’s Quidditch team, said. “I didn’t expect anyone to be contacting me.”
Teller had received a call from another national team hopeful, Allison Gillette. Gillette, who attends Emerson College, and Teller had made a pact that whoever saw the listing first would call the other.
“She gave me a call and said, ‘Go to your computer right now,’” Teller said. “I asked her if they released the team and she said, ‘I’m not saying anything go and get on the International Quidditch website.’ So I went and saw that I was on it and for the next half hour I was screaming.”
As a member of the national squad, Teller will travel to Oxford, England this summer to participate in the Olympic Expo Games. He is one of 21 first-string players from around the country that will make the trip.
“Honestly, I don’t think it hit me right away,” Teller said. “Obviously I was screaming and unbelievably excited, but I just didn’t even let it soak the fact that I’m actually going now, and I’m on the first national Quidditch team to ever be assembled.
“Now that I’ve sat and I’ve thought about it, I just couldn’t be happier. I’m proud and I’m excited and I’m honored… I’m going to do my best to represent BU and the country over there.”
According to the International Quidditch Association’s website, members of Team USA were chosen based on athletic skill as well as fundraising, organization and leadership ability. The IQA received 150 nominations – three of which came from BU – for the 21 first-string spots and 21 reserve positions.
BU sophomore keeper Brendan Stack made the reserve roster.
“I really think I’m just getting to show the world Quidditch and what it’s become,” Teller said on traveling to Oxford. “To this day, there are still people who don’t know what it is and don’t understand, and to have such a talented team go over seas to represent our country… We’re going to show everybody how far this sport has come and the athletic skill that it actually requires to do this sport.”
Teller was originally recruited to BU as a sprinter for the university’s track and field team. After his freshman year, Teller stopped competing as a member of the track and field squad and joined the Quidditch team.
Originally, Teller was not sure if Quidditch was something he would keep up with.
“I didn’t think I could get myself to run with a broom between my legs,” Teller said in an interview with The Daily Free Press on April 9. “But once I saw how physical the game was and how much fun it seemed, I decided to pick up a broom and try it.”
Since first picking up the broom, Teller has excelled on the pitch, participating in three World Cups, serving as a captain at two of them. Teller also held the highest total number of goals for the BU team in 2009, according to the IQA website.
Teller, who handled the public relations and media relations for BU’s squad, was also selected because of his abilities off the field. According to the IQA’s website, it will need to raise at least $2,000 for each player that is sent to the games. Consequently, those chosen will need to assist in the fundraising that will pay for their airfare, accommodations and uniforms.
“I look to the roster, and I know most of these people – maybe not personally, but I know them through Quidditch,” Teller said. “This is just the best team they could have put together and I am so excited to play with them.”