Fall 2021

Student sets sights on college basketball goal

by Brittany Marriott

Staff Writer

    Dakota Ceniceros is a college student trying to become more than what some think he is capable of.

    He is a young, self-taught basketball player. His goals right now are to join the Texas Tech basketball team, hoping later this will lead up to him becoming a top scorer and big star. 

     Ceniceros comes from a small town. He was born in Plainview, Texas, but graduated from high school at Cotton Center. He led the basketball team from winning nothing to placing second in tournaments. While growing up, he was always so passionate about playing, pushing himself to be better every year. He started playing basketball ever since he could walk. 

   “At a young age, there was always a desire in me, a natural talent that was evident among others,” said Ceniceros. “As I got older, the drive got bigger as well.” 

   He planned on attending Wayland Baptist University, getting a scholarship to join their basketball team. But some things took a big left turn due to his injury that happened after his senior year in high school. At the All-American showcase, he dislocated his shoulder and tore a muscle during a game, leading to him losing his scholarship for Wayland. 

    This did not stop Ceniceros, though.

     “I never give up,” he explained. “I adjust, adapt and go again. I see failure as a necessity to learn and evidence of effort…And when you know God causes all things to work together for good for those called who are according to his purpose,” quoting Romans 8:28. 

   Ceniceros is known to be deeply passionate, resilient, and disciplined. These qualities help make him a good basketball player, along with the deep love he has for the sport. 

    Besides playing basketball, off the court, Ceniceros said he likes to travel, shop, play video games, and spend quality time with family. Just like any other teenager, he likes to have fun too.

   His parents are his inspirations. He looks up to both because his mom never settles for anything less than her best, and he sees how hard his dad works and how his ethics are. So, he pushes himself to work hard every day. These two are his motivation, along with his dog, Chloe. That’s his biggest supporter, and he plans on taking her everywhere throughout this journey. 

    Ceniceros said when he is on a basketball court, he feels “alive and free.” As if chains fell off me,” he added. “The work I put in is now free to be put on display. The adrenaline is so high, I feel like I’m soaring and alive. If the crowd is for or against me, each brings a thrill of energy.” 

   When failure knocks us down, we either give up or try our best to get back up and keep going. Ceniceros has experienced failure, especially when it comes to losing a game. But to fix this, he tries to understand what went wrong and correct it. 

   Not only has he experienced failure, but there has been some good too. Whether winning or losing, he looks at the positivity. He likes it when the team comes together to work even harder to win. Sharing victory with his teammates is a great feeling for him. But when it comes to losing, they pick up the pieces and try to put them back together.  

    When it came to playing defense, Ceniceros said, “I know anyone I guard; I know there’s nothing my opponent can do to surprise me. 

     Ceniceros mentions that if he was a coach and there was a player who had his exact personality that was on the team, he would tell him, “Use the same principles and foundations to your personal and business life. Stay thankful, and stay available to help others. What you do for someone else, God will make happen in yours. Focus on the small details in whatever you do; that’s one key to success. When things get tough, go back to the first time you loved what you were doing and why. Keep stirring that passion. Speak life, and back it up with action.” 

    He plans on making basketball a career in life. He plans to meet with Texas Tech coaches this month.

   When a game is on the line in the fourth quarter, Ceniceros said he wants the ball in his hands.

    The confidence for that final shot comes with respect for his work ethic. He practices before a game starts and stays about a couple of hours afterwards. He trusts himself to become accountable. 

   Ceniceros is very dedicated to the dreams he wants to shoot for. He plans on making his family proud, and he hopes to inspire others. With God by his side, he believes he can reach his achievements if he puts his mind and heart into it. 

   “I see myself in 10 years at the top of my career, “Ceniceros said, “and in a place of influence, raising a new generation of visionaries.”

   Ceniceros is a student at South Plains College, where he’s focusing on General Studies. Next semester he will be taking a break from school. He wants to get back to the court. But in the fall, his plans are to be accepted to Texas Tech to finish his studies there. Then he hopes to get a scholarship in order to play on the Texas Tech basketball team. 

  He’s so motivated and dedicated to what he wants, which is to play basketball. 

   Ceniceros believes it’s hard to get known because most colleges don’t look at small towns for future basketball stars. They accept those who are the ones who’s attending bigger high schools and colleges in bigger cities. Ceniceros said he’s trying to show what he can do and how he’s just as good. 

   Ceniceros says he wants to put all his time and effort into practicing every day. He would sacrifice his fun, sometimes, in order to stay focused on the game. 

  With all his support and encouragement, Ceniceros believes he can make it to the top and reach high for his goals. 

Categories: Fall 2021, Feature

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