Thursday, April 26, 2018

Hard Work and College: Quan's Story

 Written by Octavio Parral | @octavio_parral
Quan during a training session with Coach Pope- PHOTO CRED: Dorina Pope

Basketball is a gateway of opportunities and potential. Opportunities are presented to athletes, such as a college scholarship, and it is up to the athlete to take advantage of those opportunities. Dequain Conner (Quan) has presented himself an opportunity, and he plans to take full advantage of it.

The journey to college begins with an escape. Since 7th grade Quan has used basketball to focus on school and stay out of the streets in Nashville. “I needed something that would keep my mind on the right track,” Quan states as he reflects on his past. Basketball is an everyday thing for him (from 7th grade until now).

Relentless work ethic on the court is the next piece. For years Quan has paid his dues to basketball and school. Countless days were spent in the gym. Many games were won and some were lost. Going 25-6 during his senior season and winning district are proof of the work ethic.

Through it all, Quan continues to grind his way from the hardwood into the classroom. Quan treats school as a basketball game and the goal is to win. This coming fall Quan will call the University of Tennessee Knoxville home. He plans to help others by pursuing a doctorate degree in physical therapy.
Quan Conner- PHOTO CRED: Doring Pope
With a blessing, Quan has received help from others who believe in his hard work and potential. His coaches, and parents have all been a part of the Quan’s college choice. “They all have wisdom and I like to get different viewpoints before I make this decision that will change my life,” Quan says about his mentors.

Another important piece of Quan’s future is Next Level Skills. Coach Pope has been mentoring and training Quan on how to prepare for college. They meet regularly to discuss college options, work on processes of college acceptance, and of course, basketball training.

“Next level skills is not only improving your basketball skills but your skills that you need to be successful in life.” - Quan

As he inches closer to college, Quan will soak his last moments of high school and enjoy the ride. One thing that will never change is his work ethic and he will carry that into his future. Quan has this to say to other kids in the same position: Never give up.

If you want to hear more from Quan and Next Level Skills, contact Coach Pope here.

-Next Level Skills