I recently interviewed a Hinds student-athlete alumnus in hopes to get in-depth look of what it is like being both a student and an athlete at Hinds Community College. Ethan Daily graduated from Hinds this past May and is moving on to continue his education and baseball career as a left-handed pitcher at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. Here’s what he had to say.
What made you choose Hinds?
I went to a Division 1 program my freshman year of college and was looking for a school where I could get a new start, revive my baseball career and continue my education. After speaking with the coaching staff and visiting the campus, I felt comfortable that Hinds was the perfect fit for me to do that.
What were you expectations before coming to Hinds?
In all honesty, I felt like I would really be able excel on the baseball field in community college. I didn’t expect the competition to be as good as it was. Looking back, I was dead wrong. I was challenged every day to perform at my best, and I felt like I truly progressed.
I was also concerned about getting all the proper classes needed to transfer back to a Division 1 program, but Hinds provided me with tremendous resources to ensure I would be able to.
What were the first few months at Hinds like for you?
It was one of the most trying times of my life. I was having some personal issues back home, but at Hinds I was surrounded by a great support staff (teammates, coaches, classmates, teachers, etc.) that really made me feel like a part of their family and helped guide me through those tough times.
What’s an average day for a student-athlete at Hinds like?
I would wake up around 7 a.m. to get ready for the day. I would go to class in the mornings until about 12 p.m. After class, I’d go eat lunch real quick before going to team workouts in the weight room at 1 p.m. After weights, I’d go to the baseball field for team practice for about three or four hours. Then, most of the guys would go eat dinner together. After dinner, we’d head back to the dorm and study/hang out together before going to sleep. Wake up and repeat every day.
That sounds pretty busy. How do you manage school and baseball?
You spend a majority of the day at the field so you really have to manage your time well and be proactive. School really has to be your No. 1 priority. In order to get where you want to go, you have to do well in the classroom. Hinds provided me with outstanding teachers and counselors who pushed me to succeed, developed personal relationships with me and who really cared about my future. The coaching staff also demanded excellence in the classroom. Most students get to miss three classes before any kind of issues, but if we missed one class we put our playing time on the field in jeopardy.
What’s one thing that was different about being a student-athlete at Hinds?
Everyone knows you are an athlete and you have to be conscious of that. Everywhere you go you’re not only representing yourself, you represent your school, your teammates, your coaches and your family.
What is it like getting recruiting by four-year universities?
It’s a great feeling. You feel as if all your hard work has paid off and you’re getting the recognition for that.
What’s some advice you’d give to incoming student-athletes?
Enjoy the moment. Do not take for granted the workouts, practices, games, study hall, dinners, and time spent with those around you. It goes by fast.
What was your favorite thing about Hinds?
I loved the family atmosphere. I am an only child, and Hinds gave me the brothers I never had.
(2017 Hinds Baseball Sophomore Class)