Dalante Peyton talks COVID adaptations and struggles

Dalante Peyton talks COVID adaptations and struggles

Maurice Hudson, Sports Editor

Adaptation and harder days Winona State University basketball player, Dalante Peyton, has had his fair share of adaptation throughout his basketball career.

Peyton said he started playing basketball when he was in seventh grade and he fell in love with the sport ever since then.

“I started playing basketball actually in seventh grade and when I came back my eighth grade year, the coach pulled me up to varsity and let me have some experience,” Peyton said. “I was ready for it.”

Peyton said playing at a high level at an early age prepared him for the transition to college basketball.

“It was obviously a big step, in the speed of the game and all of the skills that I needed to develop before I was ready to have a larger impact,” Peyton said. “It humbled me and got me prepared to be knocked off of my high horse at times throughout my career.”

Peyton redshirted his first year at Winona State to adapt and become better suited for gameplay.

“College ball is a whole different beast than playing in high school and coming into college I wasn’t physically ready for it,” Peyton said. “That didn’t stop me; I wanted to be the underdog.”

Peyton said redshirting in first year was the right decision for him to make at the time.

“I’m happy that I redshirted, in the long run, it was definitely better for me, not just on the court but off as well,” Peyton said.

Apart from the “underdog mentality”, Peyton said his reason that he plays the game is his late grandmother. He said his late grandmother is what pushes him forward every single day and lifts him up through the harder days.

“She was my biggest supporter that I have had and still is throughout my journey,” Peyton said. “After she passed, it put life into a new perspective for me and it makes me go harder in every aspect of my life. She’s the reason why I still play the game today.”

With COVID-19 postponing sports until the spring, Peyton along with the Men’s basketball team has to “roll with the punches” on the uncertainties.

Going into his last season and academic year with Winona State, Peyton said he was hoping for a year to remember.

COVID has put many events up in the air in terms of them happening or not in the future.

There’s no certainty that Peyton and the men’s basketball team will be playing for a championship in spring 2021.

Peyton said the aspect of not playing for a championship can feel weird because there’s no end goal to the team’s hard work.

“That’s [championships] huge for all athletes, because at the end of the day, you want to be able to compete for something and it feels crazy to play a game and give your body up the whole time for nothing,” Peyton said.

Peyton said he will use this strained year to adapt and develop himself for the future and to fulfill his dreams of playing overseas.

“The situation is very unfortunate because I love my team; I love the program,” Peyton said. “I’ll look at it as just another year to get my body better, to play a little more and then grind towards a dream of mine; playing overseas.”