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Meet two of Solon High School’s future Division I athletes

Blackford takes off the ground for a layup. Photo credit David A (@photodac).
Blackford takes off the ground for a layup. Photo credit David A (@photodac).

Greater Cleveland Conference Basketball MVP Mackenzie Blackford and Diving State Champion Dom Roberto are two seniors at SHS committed to Division I Colleges for sports. Extending an athletic career beyond high school calls for not only talent, but also devotion and persistence. Only around 7% of high school athletes make it to the collegiate level, and less than 2% make it to NCAA Division I schools.

Blackford gives her insight on her athletic career in the interview below.

Q: When did you start playing basketball and when did you decide you wanted to play in college?

A: I started playing basketball in preschool. I decided I wanted to play in college when I was in middle school. I just made up my mind that that’s what I wanted to do.

Q: You also are a very talented runner, why did you decide to continue your basketball career over a track career?

A: I’ve always enjoyed basketball more than track. While track is really fun, I don’t love it the way I love basketball. I didn’t think that I would be happy doing that for four more years in college.

Q: What school are you going to and what made you choose it?

A: [I am going to] Duquesne University. The coaching staff was one of the biggest deciding factors for me because they were really welcoming, and I could definitely see myself playing for them. I just really liked campus, and they have a really good program that I want to go into. Everything about it just checked off the things on my list– it just worked out.

Q: How do you think your experiences on the SHS basketball team will contribute to your success at the collegiate level?

A: I think that how I have had to be a leader on the team will help me lead even in college. With how much adversity we have had to go through on the basketball team with injuries and things like that, and with our tough coach, Coach Kruse, I think she prepared me well for college.

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: I am excited to travel. I think it’s gonna be so fun to go to different colleges and play there.

Q: Any message to athletes that are trying to play in college?

A: Don’t give up on it. Even if it looks like you can’t make it happen, keep trying.

Dom Roberto gives his insight in the video below.

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