By Chandler Watson
Tuesday is just another day for us college students, but it’s an entirely different realm for the student athletes of Texas State University. Starting junior guard Taeler Deer explains what it’s like being in the elite club.
Being a student athlete is the equivalent of having a full time job and then some; from long nights on the road, to extended days of practice where it seems like the day will never end. The adversity doesn’t phase Taeler at all. Taeler first explained why she chose Texas State. “It’s close to home, the coaches made me feel wanted, I feel that I can be effective with this program and I love the offense!” She then said she’s been playing basketball since she was 4 years old and was the only girl on multiple Houston AAU teams. Her parents have inspired her over the years, which is why she has an ever-burning passion for the game. LeBron James is one of her inspirations as well. “He has a target on his back, but he stays poised and he’s always ready to play.” Taeler said. While on their 4-game win streak, Taeler had the same effect on the game as her favorite player, leading the team in scoring with 12 and a half points a game while shooting at a 46 percent clip.
The transition from high school to college is difficult for most college students, but it can be more challenging with a full-time student athlete position. “It’s tough, something you really have to get used to,” Deer said. “With the classes and school work, long practices and trying to have a social life, it’s not easy.” Now that she’s settled into the college scene it’s gotten a lot easier. She’s found a way to balance all the moving parts she once had, and by the smile that runs across her face, you can tell that she’s just having fun with it now.
Taeler has dreams of one day playing in the WNBA. She doesn’t care who it’s for, she just wants to get paid to play the game that she loves. If she keeps up her burning passion for the game of basketball, who knows where it will take her. As Buzz Lightyear would say, “To infinity and beyond.” So keep at it Taeler, and remember: hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Featured image by Bill Spiller.