Maryland Track Star Antoine Spencer Shows it Takes more than Just Talent to Excel as an Athlete.
In the spring of 2023, thousands of high school athletes announced their commitment to run on a collegiate level, thus beginning a stark transition from high school, to college athletes. Antoine Spencer, a track and field sprinter out of Waldorf Maryland, was among these athletes. Previously attending North Point high school, and participating in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 4x100m relay events Antoine carried a special determination, and talent that set him apart from other athletes. This determination carried him to a full ride to a division one school, and clear objective regarding his journey following college.
I first became familiar with Antoine through a class we had due to our shared major. Upon sitting down and speaking with him, I learned that his journey to securing a spot on the Hampton University track team was a goal that required will, and intention. His parents, having pursued careers in the military, urged their son to use his talent to gain the opportunity of education. Spencer states “They had a great life, but they wanted me to do more”, further mentioning, “I took it upon myself to make my parents not pay for college, because I didn’t want that burden on [them]”. His sophomore year of high school he began applying discipline to his craft, now taking track more seriously. His dedication was eventually rewarded his senior year as offers from several universities trickled in.
Although the track star is not shy of talent, he does not confine himself solely to the standard of athleticism. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree at Hampton University, he plans to go into the field of journalism as a sports commentator. Another option he holds is through his enrollment enrolled in the ROTC program at the university. This secures him a job as an officer, with a six-figure salary by the age of 24.
A piece of advice he stresses to younger athletes looking to take a similar path is… “If you have the gift that God gave you, use it to the best of your ability, and take it as far as it’s gonna get you, but just know you can’t do this sport forever. Always in your mind think of how you could promote yourself, or make another source of income”. This mindset and encouragement serve a key role in the making of any great athlete. Persons such as LeBron James–A role model of Spencers– have created outlets beyond their sports that allow them to be a greater success for themselves, as well as within their community. As sports professionals broaden their realms of service it creates a connection and culture which can influence future generations.
Athletes like Antoine Spencer are apart of that culture which reminds us that great athleticism is a gift that can lead us to many horizons. It means more to be an athlete when one is also driven individual. It is drive that sets apart the diligent, from those who only hold aptitude.