My NDSCS journey was unexpected and took until even after the late signing period for me to commit there. I had no prior knowledge regarding the school or state besides the fact that it is extremely cold and above South Dakota. I honestly believe this experience worked out in my favor because I was able to step out of my comfort zone, entering into the mysterious world of college, and gained a completely fresh start away from Milwaukee. The two years I spent at NDSCS were probably two of the most impactful, fun, and amazing years of my life. Being on the men’s basketball team help contribute to that a lot but I give most of the credit to the community and wonderful school environment that was at NDSCS. Everyone was genuine and the support was amazing. The faculty and staff were very helpful for my development on the court and in the classroom. I can say that NDSCS instilled in me what leadership looks like and what it felt like to have a strong support system. Being a part of the basketball team made the experience so much better for me. It helped me gain new friends, resources, and taught me good time management skills that I needed to be successful at my university. I was very successful at the next level, choosing Loyola Marymount in California as the place to continue my athletic and educational careers. I helped lead my team to its first 20 win season in over 30 years. While doing that I accomplished a few accolades like second team West Coast Conference (WCC) all conference (junior year), and my senior year being named first team WCC all conference, WCC all-tournament team, MVP of the Jamaica Classic, and leading the team in points and assist both years. With the classes NDSCS provided it gave me a jumpstart to reach my ultimate goal which was graduating with my bachelor’s degree. After obtaining my associates degree from NDSCS, I was given the tools I needed that ultimately lead to me getting my bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount University. I am now a college graduate and plan on utilizing my psychology degree after my playing career is over. I have had multiple contract offers from clubs overseas in Turkey, Poland, and Cypress, and plan on taking one for my first professional season. Next year I plan on being completely healthy and giving the NBA summer league a shot hopefully accomplishing a lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. I am grateful that I was able to find NDSCS and have the amazing experience I was able to have during my time there. I want to thank the staff who recruited me, the faculty, staff, and the whole community of Wahpeton for making me feel at home and welcoming me with open arms. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat, and I am a wildcat for life.
James Batemon III found his way to Wahpeton, ND with little knowledge of the college, campus, or the community. What James found was a place that became the two most “amazing years of my life.” James a key member of the Wildcat men’s basketball teams run to the national tournament his freshman year and finished his career as a member of a very small group of former Wildcats, a two-time All-American. James completed his degree at NDSCS and continued his athletic and academic career at NCAA Division 1 Loyola Marymount University. After two very successful years at LMU James is once again looking for his next adventure, this time working to fulfill his dreams of becoming a professional basketball player. James is very appreciative of NDSCS, and will be a “Wildcat for life.” Check out his story at NDSCSAlumni.com/spotlight.