Q&A: Reliford ready for playoffs

VICTOR GARCIA, Contributor @TheEtCetera

Eastfield freshman shooting guard Dwayne Reliford has earned several conference and national honors this season. After being named Dallas Athletic Conference Player of the Week twice, he was selected as the NJCAA Division III Player of the Week for Feb. 15-21.

As Eastfield opens postseason play this week, Reliford sat down with Et Cetera contributor Victor Garcia to discuss his journey and his goals for the Harvester Bees.

Q: What inspired you to play basketball?

A: Everybody was talking about how tall I was. Later they said I was bad, so I started trying to prove them wrong. That’s what pushed me to do it. As I started to play more and more, I kinda fell in love with it. 


Q: Have there been any obstacles that you had to overcome to get to this moment in your career?

A: A lot honestly. I started later than everybody else, and I kinda had to play catch-up. Since I was in prep school, I had to play with higher-level competition. So just getting better every day was the biggest obstacle. I had a couple of injuries too, but nothing big.


Q: You were recently recognized as the NJCAA Player of the Week and the DAC Player of the Week. How did that feel?

A: That was big. It felt good. I want it again, of course. I want to get the championship, I want MVP, and I want as many titles as I can. 


Q: You’ve played in some big games. How do you stay relaxed and focused in those situations?

A: I keep my mindset on winning. Whatever we do is about winning. Whether it’s a free throw or just making a pass, it’s to make the winning play. I put my [mind] on winning and

I share that winning mindset with my team. 


Q: What piece of advice would you give young athletes who want to play college sports?

A: Take all the advice and listen to everybody. However, when you listen to everything everyone tells you, figure out what’s right and what’s wrong from it. I wouldn’t say ignore the bad things people are telling you because even though they’re telling you certain things you do not want to hear or you think is an insult, it might be constructive criticism. I used to take what people would tell me and kinda get mad and emotional about it instead of wanting to do something about it. 

Q: Eastfield has been in the top 10 all season. What makes this team so good?

A: Most teams in the conference play four [players] out and a big man inside. But we just run and gun. Everybody is moving at a fast speed. We all can shoot the ball. We all can attack the basket. Honestly, we have the best talent at the conference. It is a team game, but a good team is made up of good individuals. 


Q: How confident do you feel about Eastfield’s chances in the postseason?

A:  Very good. I know nobody in the conference can mess with us. I’m ready.


Q: What do you believe is the greatest challenge most student athletes are facing today?

A: Distractions. Whether it is focusing too much on the court or not enough on the work, that’s one of the biggest things players have failed at during the season. We play back-to-back games, and we practice all day, so it gets kinda tiring.


Q: Is basketball something you see yourself pursuing in the future? Or are there other plans in mind?

A: My plan is the NBA. Business management could be a Plan B, but even when I get to the league I want to be able to manage my own businesses and know how to run them.