Donta Scott enters his senior season at the University of Maryland with some huge goals. Since he was a little boy Scott wanted to accomplish two big things. One, he wanted to graduate from a good college… Two, he wanted to play in the NBA. Both goals are well within reach for Scott who will be the unquestioned leader of this year’s Terrapin squad under the direction of first year coach Kevin Willard. A three-year starter, Scott will be called upon to provide senior leadership and toughness for Maryland as they seek another Big 10 title and a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Scott is deeply appreciative of the opportunities that Maryland has given him. Many never expected Scott to emerge as the leader of a nationally prominent college basketball team. Diagnosed with a learning disability as a youngster, Scott struggled academically in elementary and middle school. He attributes his introduction to basketball with providing him with the structure and focus that has helped him matriculate through Imhotep Charter High School in Philadelphia and, subsequently, the University of Maryland.
More specifically, Scott met AAU coach, Howard Hudson, as a ten year-old and has never looked back. A former college football player, Hudson constantly challenged Scott to get better on and off the court. Hudson’s tough love approach has yielded great results. Last year, after constant urging from the publisher at Black Cager Press, Scott put pen to paper and told the story of his path from struggling middle school student to Big 10 basketball star. His book, WIRED DIFFERENTLY: My School Journey has been well received by educators, parents and young student-athletes.
Today, Scott donated copies of his book to Free Library of Philadelphia. Scott said, “I’ve given talks and donated books to kids at St. Frances Academy (MD), Thomas & Woods Foundation Youth Basketball Camp, Sean Colson and Tasheed Carr Basketball Skills Camp, Lewis Leonard Basketball Camp and the C.O.F.A. Bible Basketball Camp. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking I want to make the book accessible to every kid in Philly. By donating copies to the Free Library of Philadelphia, the book will be available to kids across the city for a long time.”
While he has been busy getting his message out to young people, Scott has not neglected his own immediate academic and basketball related goals. He’s been getting stronger and has recently set some personal records in the weight room. He also helped lead the Darren McClinton All-Stars to a Championship in the highly competitive Kenner League in Washington, D.C. Focused on maintaining his conditioning and improving his outside shooting, Scott has been working out everyday with teammates as well as some of the local NBA players home for the summer.
As we get closer to the start of the school year, Scott has begun to focus on gaining a better understanding of what Coach Willard and his staff want from him. “I want to win another Big 10 Championship and I want to win a National Championship. I love Maryland and I want to make Maryland fans proud of our team.”
Scott understands that accomplishing those lofty goals will require that he and his running mate Hakim Hart emerge as two of the top players in the Big 10. Those two Philly kids are working diligently to do just that… They plan on being two of the best players in the conference and in the nation.