Former VC Pirates basketball player gets starting spot with TAMU-CC Islanders
Jan. 28, 2012 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 27, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.
Kennon Dvorak is living the dream.
After finishing his basic courses at Victoria College while playing for the VC Pirates men's basketball team, the Moulton High School graduate transferred in the fall of 2010 to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi to finish his bachelor's degree.
He brought with him a 3.8 GPA and a fierce determination to play Division I basketball with the Islanders.
Throughout the last three of the Islanders' games, he went from playing for a matter of seconds to several minutes, to earning himself a starting spot.
In the Islanders' most recent game against the University of Texas-Arlington, Dvorak had 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.
Dvorak's walk-on with the Islanders came at the start of this semester, but he began preparing long before then.
Playing for VC gave him a better idea of how competitive it would be to play at the Division I level.
"While playing at VC, I got a look at what the college game was like and a feel for much faster play," he said. "It was different. We practiced every day and Coach Anderson always emphasized academics, so I gained some experience with how much work is involved."
After classes, study halls and homework, Dvorak made it a habit to spend extra time in the gym even before he made the team. Dvorak admits, however, that even after earning his walk-on spot, he was given no guarantee he would get to play.
"When I first made the team, I went to it with the mindset that I would work hard every day, help my teammates and stay focused on what I was expected to do for the team," said Dvorak.
VC Pirates head basketball coach Jonathan Anderson isn't surprised that Dvorak has distinguished himself with the Islanders.
"I think Kennon really benefited from being surrounded by good athletes during the time he played with the Pirates, including his team members and our opponents," said Anderson. "He's also just an exceptional young man who does a great job of juggling his responsibilities while remaining dedicated and competitive. He has a lot of maturity and I know his family plays a big role in that."
Dvorak admits that Division I basketball is quite another thing from playing for VC's club sports team. It includes high-profile coverage on ESPN along with the glamour of travel and playing in huge arenas at schools like the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
"The whole atmosphere is just amazing," said Dvorak. "We've spent as much as two weeks on the road visiting other universities."
Dvorak has also been featured in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and on local television station KIII-TV in Corpus Christi.
Despite the limelight and spending time on the road, Dvorak continues to focus on his academics as much as athletics. Majoring in kinesiology with a view toward becoming a coach and math teacher after graduation, Dvorak finished last semester at A&M with a 4.0 grade point average and is taking 13 hours of classes this semester.
When asked what he intends to do now that he's a starting player with Islanders, Dvorak responded simply.
"I'm going to keep working hard."