Jaquez Morton will be the first high school student athlete to represent VLT athletics in college.
VLT Academy in downtown Cincinnati has accomplished a first in the school’s six-year history. The school is sending an athlete to compete at the next level.
Jaquez Morton is a senior on VLT’s basketball team. Next year he will be attending DeVry University in Philadelphia to play basketball and to study engineering. He will be signing his letter of intent very soon.
As a point guard for VLT, Jaquez this year averaged 10 points per game, with eight rebounds and four assists.
This year’s basketball team has improved by leaps and bounds. In only the second year of the program, the team has lengthened its season from 10 games to 20 and achieved a record of 16 wins and four losses. The student body has rallied around the team and provided a positive energy for the entire high school.
The team’s achievements have not gone unnoticed. Their success this season has garnered attention from local and regional basketball programs. This recognition took them all over the Tri-State and as far as Wesley Christian School in Allen, Ky.
VLT’s basketball program provides its players with an outlet for their talents and creativity, said Coach Bradford Rodgers. It fosters accountability and responsibility-- not only for each young man but for the entire team. Jaquez is the first of what the school believes will be many other student athletes playing their chosen sport at the college level, he said.
Raised by his mother in Overthe Rhine, Jaquez grew up and attended elementary school at Rothenburg Academy and Washington Park. He said he was challenged in overcoming some of the negative influences among his peer group as a youth. He attended VLT Academy his freshman and sophomore years, but struggled academically. He transferred to Woodward Career and Technical High School for two years while in the ninth and 10th grades and was suspended from playing basketball for fighting. He transferred back to VLT to complete his high school education and was positively influenced by Coach Bradford.
Jaquez said Coach Bradford was very helpful in his turnaround, in improving his character and academics.
“I am really proud of what Jaquez has accomplished at VLT,’’ Rodgers said. “He has become an outstanding, hard working young man. He represents what VLT stands for.’’
Jaquez said in addition to the encouragement he received from Rodgers, he would like to do a “shout out’’ to mentor B.J. Van Camp, Principal Barbara Lee and her Assistant Donna Foster.
(Courtesy of The Cincinnati Herald)