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Deontae Craig shares his outlook on sports and academics at Culver Academy

Deonte Craig - Culver Academy

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What first experience(s) in playing sports helped you enjoy sports and sport competition?

I think the competition itself is what made me fall in love with sports and it motivates me to work even harder to keep perfecting my craft and possibly result in me being able to play at the next level in college.

Are there particular athletes you have watched (admired) over the years whose play you enjoy?

My favorite athlete of all time would have to be Kobe Bryant -the way he dominated when he played the game, is something special – that is one thing I really admired about him. I admired his focus and passion for the game of basketball.

Are any of the above athletes you cite role models for what you want to become?

I know I may never reach the same level of success as Kobe, but he is definitely a good person to aspire to be. He is very accomplished on the court – winning five NBA Championships, and many other awards. He is also very successful off the court with a Grammy win. He is a prime example of what it means to be winning at the game of life.

How important is getting along with and enjoying time with team members with whom you’ve played?

That is very important. If there is negative vibes spread throughout the team, that will affect how well you guys are able to work together. If you can’t work well together, then you probably will not have much success.

When you win a competition do you have a celebration or are you more inclined to relax or both?

I like to celebrate a little, but I am not one to splurge and get extravagant.

Upon losing a competition is there anything special you do to get yourself prepared for the next competition?

There is nothing really that I change. It just motivates me to work even harder to make sure I don’t have to feel the pain of losing again.

What positive connection do you see between your academic work and playing ball?

Sports motivates me to do great things academically because I know if I do not, then I will not be able to play in any athletics. I try to make sure I stay on top of academics before anything.

How are you most likely to spend your leisure time between competitions?

I rest up or get treatment. Games can get intense so it is important that I take care of my body.

In Academics and Sports are there specific things you do yourself to improve your performance?

I ask a lot of questions when I am confused to find out where I can improve

Coaching is important. Can you think of some things coaches do that really help?

They really preach to me that teamwork is very important. I am close with my coaches on and off the court so that really helps with our relationship and building trust.

Talk about the importance of parents and family in helping you succeed at challenges.

Family is extremely important to me. They have my support in everything I do and without their help; I definitely would not be where I am today. They motivate me to work hard, because I know they would work 10x as  hard for me if they were in my situation.

What hobbies do you have that relax you?

Listening to music and watching sports. I also like to free myself by playing basketball to relieve stress and anger.

Although you are young, have you served as a mentor to other young people?

Yes, I have. At the school I got to, we are assigned to two new cadets as their team leader. My job is to be their parent away from home in a way. I make sure their well-being is okay and make sure they stay on top of academics and all the other aspects of Culver.

What words of encouragement and advice would you give to other young people pursuing their dreams?

To never give up. There are times when things get tough and you may want to quit, but in reality, you just need work a little bit harder. Anything is attainable and the sky is the limit, so if anyone or anything doubts you or tries to deter your goals, just block it out and let it motivate you to work twice as hard.

Please list any special accomplishments or awards you’ve received by year.

2017-2018 Indiana Jr. All-State for class 4A football
2017-2018 IBCA Large School Underclass All-State Team for basketball