Growing up in South Florida, I was always an active kid, playing various sports to keep myself busy.
Football was the main sport down there, and like most kids, that’s what I started with.
But then I discovered a love for basketball.
It all started with watching the Miami Heat on TV, especially that iconic team with LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
And then, playing basketball at recess in school sealed the deal for me.
I knew I wanted to pursue this game.
I begged my mom to put me in an organized basketball team, anything that would get me involved and allow me to play in a structured setting.
And she did just that.
She signed me up for a local basketball league, and from that moment on, there was no turning back.
Basketball became my passion, my escape, and my way to express myself.
To-date, I credit my high school basketball coach for having the biggest influence on my game.
He has been more than just a coach, guiding me through the ups and downs, pushing me to be better on and off the court.
His support and guidance have been invaluable, and I will forever be grateful for his impact on my life.
As I continued to play, I found myself looking up to Dwayne Wade.
Being from South Florida, Wade was a legend in my eyes.
I admired his skills, his determination, and the impact he had on the game.
As I grew older, I realized that I shared many similarities with him in terms of size and athleticism.
So, naturally, I tried to model my game after him, incorporating elements of his style into my own.
Moving to Memphis
Fast forward to my recruitment process.
It was a stressful time, to say the least.
I had narrowed down my options to seven schools, including South Carolina, Mississippi State, LSU, Saint John’s, UCF, and USF.
But it ultimately came down to a tough decision between Saint John’s and Memphis.
What tipped the scales in favor of Memphis was the school’s rich basketball pedigree, the influence of their head coach, Penny Hardaway, and the opportunity to grow as both a player and a young man.
I saw Memphis as the perfect place to lead me towards success in my basketball career in college and beyond.
The moment I committed to Memphis was one of the most amazing moments of my career.
Signing with a school like Memphis was something I never thought would happen.
It showed me that with hard work and perseverance, dreams can become a reality.
It was a celebration for me and my family, a moment of pride and validation.
From dream to reality
Playing for Memphis has been an incredible experience so far.
What stands out the most is the community’s deep love and pride for basketball.
Memphis has always been known for its commitment to the sport, even before Coach Hardaway’s time.
The city’s passion is infectious, and it has made me feel right at home.
The gritty, grinding nature of the city aligns perfectly with who I am as a person, and it has been an easy adjustment for me.
My goals at Memphis are clear.
I want to be a winning player, contributing to the success of the team and bringing home championships.
Memphis values winning above all else, and I want to uphold that tradition and make the city proud.
Individually, I aim to continue growing as a player, honing my skills, and positioning myself for success once I leave college.
As for the team, our expectations are sky-high.
We aim to win the regular season championship in the AAC, secure a conference championship, and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
The momentum we’ve built this season is crucial, and we want to continue building a winning culture for Memphis basketball.
Looking beyond my college years, my ultimate dream is to play professional basketball, ideally in the NBA.
It’s every basketball player’s dream, and I’m no exception.
The idea of traveling around, playing the sport I love, and getting paid for it is incredibly enticing.
But even after my basketball career, I want to explore other interests and find fulfillment in various endeavors.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through basketball is that success doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s a gradual process that requires continuous improvement and adaptation.
Just like in life, if you stay the same, you’ll get left behind.
Trusting the process, putting in the work, and constantly evolving are the keys to success.
When it comes to motivation, there are a few factors that drive me.
First and foremost, it’s my love for the game.
I genuinely enjoy playing basketball and the thrill of competing.
But it’s also about playing for my family, for myself, and for the name on the front of the jersey.
These motivations push me to give my all on the court and strive for victory.
As I continue my basketball journey at Memphis, I am excited about what the future holds.
I am grateful for the opportunity to play at a school with such a storied history and a passionate community.
I am determined to make the most of my time here, both as a player and as a person.
And when the time comes to step off the court, I hope to leave a lasting legacy and continue pursuing my dreams in whatever path I choose.