27 : Dallas Ouano, Former Villanova Basketball Walk-On

Dallas Ouano was once described as "A hard-working guard who understands his role ... Brings tenacity and a strong work ethic to the court and the classroom." These were the first two lines in Dallas' bio on the Villanova Athletics website.  I am lucky to call Dallas my friend and I can vouch that he is still this kind of guy.  In this episode, Dallas teaches us about what it takes to walk on to one of the best basketball teams in the country, despite suffering two serious knee injuries during his basketball career. 

 In the fall of 2008, Dallas arrived at Villanova University thinking that his competitive basketball career was over.  However, as a freshman, he played on the school's club basketball team and went to try-outs for the varsity squad without any expectations. He was ultimately informed that he did not make the cut. Dallas still had fun traveling all over the country with the club team and in the interview he mentions that many club basketball teams are highly competitive and could be a great way to extend a high school athlete's athletic career.  During this 2008-2009 Villanova Men's Basketball campaign, the team made it all the way to the Final Four in Detroit where they lost to eventual national champion, North Carolina.  

Coming back to try-out for this caliber of team after a Final Four appearance might be intimidating to most athletes, but Dallas went into the 2009 season try-out feeling prepared, stronger and more explosive after a summer of intense workouts.  This time, Dallas made the team!  

Dallas learned a tremendous amount of life lessons playing under head coach Jay Wright.  Many of the things he learned has extended beyond the basketball court.  A few examples are listed below:

  • Knowing your role
  • "Be Here Now"
  • "Tap the Rock" (Check out the video below to learn about the significance)

Athletes overcoming injuries or another one of life's obstacles can learn a lot from this episode.  Knowing your role on any team is vitally important, especially when an injury takes you off the court or field.  There are a lot of distractions in today's world that can impede your recovery or from getting to the next level, so when you're in the gym or rehabbing an injury, put the phone down and "be here now." I hope you watched the video above, and if you didn't, here is your second chance... As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day, but if you keep tapping the rock, be prepared for big things to come.

Lastly, in this episode Dallas mentions his girlfriend's blog "Necessary Thickness" where athletes can also find inspiration!  Follow Necessary Thickness at the links below:

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