AIF: Demetrius Dortch

Photos by Holden Green
#14 Demetrius Dortch has found his role as starting point guard on OPRF’s varsity team

Julia Youman, Staffer

As the regular season has come to a close and playoffs approach, sophomore Demetrius Dortch is taking it all in. “I’m learning things off the court from my coach and teammates,” he said. Over the course of the season, Dortch has stepped up and evolved into a starting point guard for the team.

Though only a sophomore, Dortch has already made a name for himself. He admitted that while he initially felt intimidated to play alongside strong upperclassmen, as a consistent starter, he feels confident in his position.

“I was [intimidated] for the first two games, but then I realized that I have a gift that others don’t have, and that is speed and defense,” said Dortch. Although the team had a slow start to their season, they are on an upswing right now, having won their last three games.

“I started playing basketball when I was 5,” said Dortch. “But I didn’t realize it was something I wanted to do until sixth grade.”

After playing at a high-level for several years, he said he believes OPRF has offered him an experience and camaraderie unlike any team he’s been on. “I consider this team a learning team,” he said. “I say that because this year has had it’s rocky moments…but this team has never given up on each other.”

Despite their winning streak, Dortch maintains his favorite part has been forging close bonds with his teammates. “The best part of the season is every day because I get to spend time with my brothers,” said Dortch.

He also attributes the team’s recent success to their camaraderie. “We all love each other more than we did at the beginning of the season,” he said. “My favorite part of the team is that we are a family.”

Dortch also played on the OPRF varsity football team this year, but has found basketball has challenged him in new ways. “It’s taught me to never give up on yourself and the team,” said Dortch. He said he believes the sport has also made him a better person through instilling values of perseverance and hardwork. “I’m willing to always finish something I started,” he said.

As of right now, Dortch is looking forward to competing with his team in the playoffs and hopes to end on a strong note. “My favorite memory will be the last game with the team,” he said. “I will love everyone on that team even more for staying locked in and giving their all on the court,” he said.

Aside from focusing on the last part of the high school season, Dortch has plans to play in college and even beyond that. “My goals for the future are to go to the NBA and give back to OPRF and the community,” he said.

Despite facing setbacks over the years and enduring a rocky start to the season, Dortch is more committed now than ever. His integral role this current season and close friendships with his teammates have encouraged him to work even harder. “Basketball has challenged me a lot because there are people that are ranked and already have scholarships, but I have to keep working and not listen to the people that say I’m not going to make it.”