By Melissa McCaghren
Slaton High School Basketball Coach Stacey Godfrey talked about the first time he met Quevon McDaniel. “When I first got here, they were playing… in Friendship summer league,” he said. “This group was playing and I walked in and I saw those guys playing and I knew that was a kind of a special group that was coming through.”
He stayed focused on the players, including McDaniel all through those years, which culminated into the 2020 graduate’s signing to play basketball at Clarendon College Thursday evening (July 16) during a socially distanced signing in the old high school gym.
McDaniel said Clarendon was an easy choice to play for. “What made me choose Clarendon was the coaches and the team,” he said. “It was a great experience for me talking to them and I knew by the end of talking to them that Clarendon was the place for me.”
The 2020 graduate had a busy season, playing football, basketball and track this year. Football made it to the Area round, while basketball lost a heartbreakingly close play-in game against Brownfield.
McDaniel however, had several fond memories of his school years, one of which was a different outcome in one sport last year.
“By far my best memory during my time playing basketball in Slaton was my Junior year of playing and I hit the game winning three (point shot) against Brownfield,” he said. “The gym went crazy. No other memory of mine will come close to that.”
Though his track season, where he did long jump, the relays and 200 meter dash, was cut short due to COVID-19 closing schools in March, McDaniel is looking forward to his upcoming college years.
“I’m just looking forward to getting better as a player, building good relationships with my teammates and just enjoy the college experience and after two years continue my career at a bigger college,” he said, adding he will be majoring in kinesiology.
Godfrey thanked McDaniel’s parents, Vince and Melody, for allowing him to coach their son. “He’s like family, they’re like family to me, thank you guys for letting me coach him and letting me get on to him and get him in the right direction on what he wants to do in life.
“They didn’t say anything, Melody always said, ‘Coach, whatever you need to do, you’ve got my permission. You don’t have to call me,” he added saying that’s why McDaniel signed. “And that’s what I liked about parents, that’s invested in kids, when they trust you to hound their kids away from home.”
As McDaniel looks to playing now for the Bulldogs and pursuing his education, he gave some advice to the students who are still attending Slaton High School, lessons that he learned during his 12 years there.
Lessons he also learned from Godfrey, who told him the truth about how hard he’d have to continue to work now playing for college.
“For younger kids just remember things won’t always go your way, you’re not always gonna get what you want just stay patient and humble and in the end you will get what is meant for you and much love to all my Slaton family,” he said.