What is your favorite Dripping Springs memory?
He went to A&M and Baylor two years in a row at the start of the Thanksgiving break. We had a team connection, we went to lunch, we saw two women’s basketball teams play, and we had field trips to both schools.
Have you learned any lessons from basketball that you apply in your daily life?
It taught me the aspects of teamwork. My team is working very well together this year because we are all on the same wavelength. … We play together, spend time together, make the most of our strengths together, not apart.
What will you miss the most in high school when you graduate?
I will miss my city the most. I love dripping. I’ve been here since 3 years. This year I’m moving into (grade) 6A and I’m so proud of us. Not only my team and my sport, but all sports and everything we have achieved.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I have many colleges between which I now choose. I have been accepted into some of them, but I am waiting for a response from a few more. But I plan to specialize in business management or follow the path of a lawyer.
If you could have dinner with any four people in the history of the world, who would it be?
I would pick one of my grandfathers (Phil Rod) whom I never met, George Washington, Julie Andrews and the six main actors from High School Musical.
Why is your grandfather?
He had multiple sclerosis and passed away in 2001. I heard that I look a lot like him. It would be interesting to get to know him.
If you had the choice of being a state basketball player or giving your senior year valedictorian, which would you choose?
These are both important things. However, I would say farewell. I work very hard on my studies. I am very proud of myself and I have a pretty high rating (in the class) and it would be wild to give a farewell speech.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you?
This came from my church pastor (Scott Heer) when I was in high school. I was awkwardly tall when I was 12 or 13. Skinny. He told the story when he began serving in the seminary. He wasn’t confident enough. One of his leaders told him to be all you are. Be confident in your height. Be all of these. This resonated with me.
Do you have any game day rituals?
I don’t start for the national team. I get off the bench. So, I’m the one who shakes hands with everyone at the beginning, because all my friends start.
Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I have been in a competitive dance team since I was 7 years old. I do all styles, but I am especially advanced in tap dancing, I have attended many competitions and congresses and received awards and scholarships.
What is the coolest place you have ever been?
Hawaii. I was there last year on spring break. I felt like I was no longer on this planet. It was like a movie. I think the change of time also contributed to this. Trees, bushes and wildlife in general are different from what we have here.
What course you took in high school will benefit you the most after you graduate?
My AP American History class I attended last year. I had a great teacher (Angela Tennyson). She understood and explained things very well.
Why is Dripping Springs so good at all sports?
I love dripping. I have a prejudice against us. Personally, we embody the heart of our city. I was in kindergarten in 2010 and this city was so quiet. The amount of work we do in everyday life transforms us and forces us to put in the effort. Not just in the classroom, but on the field, on the court, everywhere. Many people consider Dripping an outsider for a long time, and this also inspires us.
— Rick Cantu