ROCKINGHAM — Sustaining good grades just isn’t simple for many. Doing it whereas taking faculty courses and taking part in a varsity sport at Richmond Senior Excessive Faculty may even be tougher with the extra calls for of lengthy practices and video games.
Dakota Chavis, the purpose guard for a Raider workforce with a near-perfect season file and headed into the state championship sport on Saturday, mentioned training has and can all the time come first in his life.
“I’ve all the time been taught that my grades matter first, and sports activities come second,” he mentioned about his mom instilling at a younger age. “She by no means lets me overlook what’s most essential. Basketball is a method for me to get into faculty and never burden my household with prices.”
Chavis, who’s one in every of two seniors on the workforce and a three-year member of the varsity workforce, mentioned he had discovered the proper steadiness between the classroom and the court docket — the true definition of a student-athlete.
“It’s actually about self-discipline and wanting one of the best for your self,” he mentioned. “I do know I’ve to get good grades to organize for faculty. Basketball alone doesn’t get you into faculty.”
In the course of the lengthy basketball season and the Raiders going deep into the playoffs, Chavis doesn’t pause on the teachers whereas on the pentacle of his highschool basketball profession. He mentioned he tries his greatest to offer 100% effort within the classroom as he does on the court docket. For him, it doesn’t matter if it’s at the start of the season or the final sport within the North Carolina championship event.
It’s that dedication to being a workforce participant that units Chavis aside. Raider head basketball coach Donald Pettigrew mentioned Chavis is a real chief and is able to assist out fellow gamers with their research.
“He’s all the time checking up on gamers and ensuring they’re doing okay of their courses,” he mentioned. “If he thinks they’re struggling of their courses, he’s asking them not if however when he will help tutor them.”
Pettigrew mentioned his gamers should bear in mind they’re student-athletes and never athlete-students.
“We count on our gamers to excel within the classroom, and Chavis is main that cost,” he mentioned. “This younger man is devoted to being one of the best on and off the court docket. I don’t assume he realizes how many individuals on this group look as much as him. We would like all of our gamers to be constructive position fashions for our youth.”
Chavis’ mom, Amber Capel Chavis, mentioned he has all the time been on the honour roll as a result of he holds himself to a excessive commonplace.
“I’ve all the time advised all my boys they will do something they need on this life so long as they put within the work,” she mentioned. “Dakota has all the time dreamed of a life involving basketball. Nonetheless, the grades are first, and sports activities are second. It’s essential as a result of, at any given time, sports activities can disappear with an harm, and there’s solely a small window of an athlete’s life that they get to compete.”
Amber mentioned only some choose gamers across the nation make it to the skilled degree, and Dakota acknowledges that.
“He must be ready for the remainder of his life after sports activities, and training helps open doorways and alternatives lengthy after the sports activities have light,” she mentioned.
Like most student-athletes at Richmond Senior, Chavis has performed sports activities since he was younger.
He juggled basketball and baseball throughout elementary faculty however ultimately began taking part in journey basketball. Baseball slowly turned a distant reminiscence.
Chavis’ mom mentioned she begged him to play proceed taking part in baseball, but it surely was too late.
“It simply wasn’t his ardour like basketball was,” mentioned Amber.
Chavis has one older brother, Ethan, who lives in Charlotte, and two youthful brothers at residence, Xander and Levi, which are Dakota’s largest followers.
“They appear as much as him in addition to the opposite Raiders basketball gamers,” she mentioned his youthful brothers. “They have been all the time eager to play and apply with him outdoors or go to the fitness center and shoot round.”
That additional time on the court docket along with his brothers may need given him the sting in opposition to opponents when he places on the inexperienced and gold Raider uniform and represents a complete county.
As younger kids line as much as get his autograph or a fast fist bump when he steps out onto the court docket at the highschool, Chavis mentioned it took a while to get used to. Because the workforce is headed to the state championship sport, the eye is exponentially gaining momentum on recognition in and across the native space.
“It was unusual at first after they would come up,” he mentioned. “Why would they need my autograph? I’m only a highschool basketball participant making an attempt to do my greatest on the court docket and win video games for our college.”
It’s that humble, quiet persona that Chavis shows each day that Pettigrew mentioned defines him as a pacesetter.
“He’s going to be somebody essential in a group sooner or later,” he mentioned. “Hopefully, he can look again on his days at Richmond and understand how a lot he impacted our program and that county. He’s positively going to be missed.”
Chavis might be taking part in basketball on the subsequent degree, however proper now, his focus is bringing residence the state championship title to Richmond County.
“Proper now, he’s taking his time deciding what his subsequent steps are,” mentioned Amber. “It’s a really huge choice, and he’s approaching it as such.”
One individual he seems as much as is his father, Larry Chavis, who gave him good recommendation a very long time in the past that he has utilized all through his basketball profession and training.
“By no means surrender and all the time be your self,” his father advised him. “He would all the time say to by no means surrender on one thing you like.”
Dakota listened to his father and mom’s recommendation and has been profitable within the classroom and on the court docket – by no means retreating from his dream to be one of the best basketball participant whereas sustaining the grades that may carry him to the subsequent chapter in his life as a school student-athlete.