In this edition of The Best Jobs in the World, I am interviewing a high school basketball star, Desmond Bane. While he does not hold a rare or cool job, he’s a smart, young, and talented individual who is tapping into his potential. With multiple Division I offers, Desmond carved out a few minutes for his old substitute teacher.
A former student of mine, Desmond Bane, gave me a few minutes of his time to ask him questions about his life and basketball journey. Desmond is a 6’5″ combo guard averaging 29.7PPG, 11.5RPG, 6.3APG, 3.2BPG, and 2.0SPG for Seton Catholic High School. He is fresh off a record 62-point game for the second ranked team in the state. (Interview has been edited).
EC: Desmond, thanks again for giving me a few minutes of your time.
Desmond: Thank you.
EC: How do you want to be remembered?
Desmond: I want to be looked up to by the younger kids in the community and hopefully inspire them. When people think about me, I don’t just want them to remember me as a basketball player but as a person and how nice I was on the court.
EC: That’s great! When did you start taking basketball seriously?
Desmond: I started taking basketball seriously my 8th grade summer. I dropped baseball and started playing AAU and ever since basketball has taken over my life.
EC: What makes basketball so exciting to you?
Desmond: I think it’s just something that has grown on me over the years. It’s not necessarily the flashy plays or the wins and losses but the memories my teammates and I make, and just the love of the game.
EC: Your team is ranked second in the state for your class size. That carries a lot of heavy pressure, so who is the funniest guy on your team to alleviate the stress?
Desmond: We are all a funny group I think. We all have had our moments. It’s a fun group to be around, but the funniest on the team is probably a duo. Billie Webster and Zach Rogers are in the locker room always playing around dancing.
EC: Where are you in the college decision?
Desmond: I’m wide open right now. I’m still taking calls from coaches. My Top 4 schools out of my offers are IUPUI, Miami (OH), Ball State, and Ohio University. Schools like Purdue, Butler, Indiana State, IPFW, and Bradley are recruiting me as well.
EC: It sounds like you really have your pick of schools.
Desmond: Yeah, I have been blessed throughout this whole situation. I’m extremely thankful for all the offers I have received.
EC: When I first met you, I had no idea who you were. I was substitute teaching at your school and you had a hard time paying attention. What’s been the biggest change for you since last year?
Desmond: It’s definitely my maturity. On and off the court I have matured. I’m getting older now and it’s time to get more serious and focus on the things that matter.
EC: Are you better about paying attention to subs?
Desmond: Yes, sir! (Laughs)
EC: Who have been your biggest fans and supporters?
Desmond: Most definitely my great grandma and grandpa. I moved in with them when I was 2 and have been there ever since. They’ve made sure I went to a good school, got me to all of my practices and games, and made sure I had all the gear I needed and then some. But most of all, they have supported me the whole way.
When I told them I didn’t want to play baseball and focus on basketball, they were behind me 100%. They’ve had my back through this recruiting process and they’re being very supportive in my choice throughout it.
EC: Who is the toughest player you’ve ever faced?
Desmond: Kyle Guy. He can beat you in many ways: shoot the three, blow by you, and finish in the trees.
EC: Away from basketball, what are you doing?
Desmond: I’m trying to focus on my grades and strengthen my relationship with God.
EC: Do you have any pregame rituals or meals?
Desmond: I like to eat chicken Alfredo the night before – and before the game, believe it or not, I eat a Hot Head burrito (Laughs).
EC: Hot Head is my jam! What’s your goal with basketball?
Desmond: I want to make money playing this game.
EC: The NBA?
Desmond: Or overseas.
EC: What advice would you give to young Richmond kids who want to become the star of their team?
Desmond: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. Always follow your dreams and what your heart tells you.
EC: The state tournament starts soon. Is your team ready? What’s your teams’ biggest strength?
Desmond: We have experience. Four out of five starters have started on sectional championship teams. We haven’t played our best as of recent but we will be ready. Since we lost in the regional last year our goals have been set and we’ve been working towards them all season.
EC: What’s something you’re good at besides sports?
Desmond: Well, I’m definitely the best NBA2K player in the county and anybody who wants to get beat just let me know. I’m tired of beating up on Billie.
EC: You’re on! (Laughs)
EC: Last question… What’s your favorite movie?
Desmond: Step Brothers.
EC: (Laughs) Great choice! Thanks for doing this interview with me, Desmond. We all are excited to see where you go and what you do.
Desmond: Thanks, man. I appreciate it and no problem anytime.
Stay tuned for the next interview in my series The Best Jobs in the World.