This week’s athlete of the week is men’s basketball player and junior Quentin Hardrict Jr.
Previously, Hardrict spent two seasons at North Iowa and was a two-time first-team All-Iowa Community College Athletic Conference selection. As a freshman, Hardrict averaged 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists. As a sophomore, those averages increased in 16.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.
In high school, Hardrict was a three-time All-Conference performer at Columbia Heights High School.
This is Hardrict’s first year at Pittsburg State, but he has been playing basketball since he was a child.
“I started playing basketball in the 3rd grade, so I was about… (nine),” Hardrict said. “Growing up I played basketball, baseball and football. But when I got towards the end of high school, basketball was the sport that stuck.”
Having played basketball through much of childhood and teen years, Hardrict loves the game and has made strong relationships because of it throughout the years.
“I love basketball,” Hardrict said. “Basketball has taught me many life lessons and took me places I could never imagine. I’ve met some of my closet friends through basketball. But overall, I just love the game.”
The men’s basketball teams’ overall record is currently 6-7 and are about halfway through the season.
“…This team we have is special and we will do big things,” Hardrict said.
Hardrict’s family is very supportive of his goals and his athletic career.
“My immediate family gives me all the support I need but my mom alone is the greatest,” Hardrict said. “She’s my biggest fan and also my biggest critic.”
Like many athletes, balancing a sport with academics and daily life is not an easy task. However, according to Hardrict, there are a few ways to make it easier.
“Balancing basketball with school isn’t easy,” Hardrict said. “Especially when… (you’re) traveling late nights. But you just have to do your work and try your best not to procrastinate. Also, make sure you attend all classes and ask questions. The professors here are all understanding, and they will help you if you ask.”
After graduating from Pitts State, Hardrict hopes to continue his athletic career as a professional player.
“…I want to play pro ball and make a career out of it,” Hardrict said. “I know it’s possible and I will do my best to make that happen for me and my family.”
Hardrict is grateful for the opportunities basketball has given him.
“My biggest accomplishment so far is earning a full scholarship,” Hardrict said. “…A lot of people that would love to be in my position. So, I’m grateful for that.”
The men’s basketball team’s next games are against Northeastern State on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Tahlequah, Okla. and Rogers State on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Claremore, Okla.