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Goddard grad starts new journey

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Goddard High School graduate Dalin Stanford is about to embark on a collegiate journey that could leave a lasting impression on him and his teammates.

In a few months, the 6-foot-5 student-athlete will be heading to Southern California to attend the University of Saint Katherine. He signed a letter of intent to play for the small college that is bringing back men’s basketball.

The school made the announcement in January to restart the men’s basketball program, which had been dormant for some time. Jonathan Ramirez is the head coach of the university located in San Marcos, California.

USK has around 300 students and competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association.

Stanford said he has a full ride scholarship to play for the Firebirds.

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“It was kind of hard to resist,” Stanford said. “Plus, being in California, it’s six minutes away from the beach. The coaching is pretty nice. They’re pretty influential and they were inspiring, trying to convince me to go there.”

Stanford said San Marcos is located near San Diego and he and his teammates will be living off campus.

“It’s small, they don’t have any housing,” Stanford said. “Four or five guys on the team are going to stay in an apartment together and we each pay $200 a month. It’s a whole new roster. This is all new kids. It’s going to be exciting (with) what’s going to happen.”

In addition to playing high school basketball for the Rockets, Stanford also played for the New Mexico Force, a traveling team dedicated to helping student-athletes get scholarships.

Stanford was the only player from Roswell to play for the 17-and-under traveling team, which consisted of players from the Albuquerque and Amarillo areas.

“My traveling team, they’re the ones that got me the scholarship,” Stanford said.

Stanford credits Force head coach Ross Romero for contacting coaches and posting videos of his play on social media.

“He was talking to coach Ramirez from Saint Katherine,” Stanford said. “They really liked it and that got me into the discussion and got them to get me the scholarship and so I owe pretty much of it all to him for that.”

Typically, most incoming college freshman like Stanford sit on the bench before working their way into the starting line up. That may not be the case this upcoming season.

“They told me I was probably going to play a lot,” Stanford said. “It’s going to be a whole new roster. They’re having guys that are coming from everywhere from JUCO’s (junior colleges) and guys like me. That’s probably a role where I’ll come off the bench and score a little bit and rebound a little bit and play some defense.”

Looking back on his career at Goddard, Stanford said his best season was his sophomore year. The Rockets were 16-12.

“We had two really good guards in Noah Waide and Leanthony Harrison,” Stanford said. “That was probably the strongest year we ever had with a good bench, a good starting line up and made it to the state tournament. We lost in the first round, but that was probably my best year rebounding too.”

Stanford estimates that he had around 14 rebounds during his sophomore season.

“(Stanford’s) junior year was a pretty big mess. We lost Noah and Leanthony and we ended up losing eight or nine straight,” Stanford said.

The Rockets had a 9-17 record at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

“This year, we started off OK,” Stanford said. “We kept losing close games. Games we should have won when we had the lead in the fourth quarter. When it came down we couldn’t keep it up. It was fun and it was rough. All in all, it’s all good.”

Goddard was 12-16 this past season and Stanford averaged 16.1 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.

“My sophomore year, my main purpose was to rebound,” Stanford said. “That’s all they needed me to do. I would sit back and box out and get the misses if they missed. Junior year was pretty much the same role, but they wanted me to score a little bit more. This year, it was score and do everything I could to help the team win. Scoring, rebounding, passing and everything.”