The road to success is riddled with challenges that test both physical and mental toughness, and perseverance has guided UT men’s basketball player Dylan DeFeo down that road. Ever since the second grade, Dylan knew he wanted to devote his time to basketball.
Dylan DeFeo impressed in high school on and off the court. For most of his high school career he played at Lely High School in Naples, Fla., near his hometown of Marco Island.
Being ranked as one of the top ten guards in Florida by ESPN, UT became a natural fit for Dylan. “What brought me to UT was the reputation of the basketball program and how close it is to my hometown and my family.”
The transition from high school to college came easy for him, saying that academically he is more focused by studying his interests, in addition to the camaraderie the team has offered him.
Earning a degree in public health and playing for the basketball team has taught Dylan valuable time management skills as well as mental and physical toughness.
In addition, classes such as exercise testing & prescription with Dr. Wilson have motivated him to pursue a graduate degree after this year. He also noted he would like to eventually get his master’s degree.
However, Dylan has faced some challenges in his basketball career at UT.
Injuries have kept him from playing much during his career, resulting with him being redshirted last year. “I’ve had many injuries at UT including a partially torn meniscus, separated AC joint, numerous sprained ankles and a concussion. For the most part this year I have been injury free.”
Dylan stays optimistic, though, and shows appreciation to those who have helped him endure these frustrations, “My love for basketball has kept me here… but my coaches and teammates have really helped me through my injuries.”
Without seeing much action, Dylan stresses the importance of his teammates, “I’m friends with everyone on this team. Some of my best friends play for our team and I’ll keep them close for the rest of my life.”
Despite the struggles his team has faced this season, he adds that a positive locker room environment keeps the team motivated.
Reflecting on his experience at UT, Dylan says that he has learned much and has “loved every minute of it.” He has learned to live by the words “Through the ups and downs, never quit.”
Written by Jimmy Kelly