PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – A once high school senior in 2019 with no collegiate offers, Jhykeith Halton, signed with the Gulf Coast Men’s Basketball team last Friday, living out his dream to play in college.
“It’s going to mean a lot,” Halton said. “Just to be home where I feel most comfortable at, just with my family and friends to come out and watch us play, it’s just going to mean, like I said it’s just a feeling that I can’t describe.”
It wasn’t without a lot of hard work, and even more patience, as he spent the last year on the Commodores practice squad.
“It was definitely difficult,” Halton said. “There was times when I questioned is this really for me, but then there were times where like I put in all this work.”
Even on the days when Halton didn’t believe in himself, there were others pushing him forward.
“One day I was working out,” Halton said. “Like had no offers or anything, and I was just working out and a guy came up to me that didn’t know me, he just said, ‘God has a plan for you, young man, just keep working, and everything will fall in place.'”
But there’s one person in particular Halton says has kept him motivated to achieve his dream.
“My mom is my everything man, I grew up with just her, so just watching her never give up, never complain, never make excuses, I just find it in myself that I can’t make any excuses.”
Earning a spot on a college roster is an achievement that Halton says he’s very proud of, and he also had some advise for other young basketball players tying to do the same.
“Stick with it,” Halton said. “You know, there’s going to be days where you just feel like, you know, nothings going to happen, but if you just keep grinding, and don’t let nobody stop you, if you want to achieve something a hundred percent if you put your mind to it, I feel like its a mindset, if you put your mind to it I don’t feel like anything can stop you.”
An added bonus to signing with the Commodores, Halton will be reunited with his high school teammate, Zam Compere.
“I feel like the sky is the limit for us, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be excited to see that duo again, so we’re excited so we want all you guys to come out and watch man, it’s going to be a show.”