MONTE ALTO - All Stephen Baxter ever wanted was a chance to play college basketball. He knew recruiters would be hard pressed to find South Texas. Baxter kept working. His efforts in practice paid off in games. His father kept track of his progress by filming every game for four years. At night, the two sat side by side at the computer uploading clips to recruiting sites.
Stephen Baxter says, "I wouldn't really be here if it wasn't for my dad. He took me to camps, showcases, and got me footage every where I played."
The support from family never stopped. Baxter did his part in the classroom, too. A 3.8 GPA ranked Stephen in the top ten of his Monte Alto class.
Stephen adds, "I just want to set an example for these younger kids out here because they're always asking me questions. I just want to tell them you can do this. It's not hard. You can keep your grades up and excel on the court."
Strong academics and his play on the court got the attention of Oklahoma Wesleyan. The Eagles offered Baxter a scholarship, and a place on the team. He will be the first Monte Alto graduate to play college basketball.
"It means a lot to be the first one here and I owe everything to my coaches, my teachers, everybody that said I could do it even when I thought I couldn't."
His coach agrees. Osiel Canales says, "His work ethic has been so tremendous. I mean I'm so proud of him. The whole community, the whole school is proud of him, not just in sports but in academics."