Dante Agnes, a teen with Down syndrome, believes in blood, sweat and tears. The 19-year-old from North Dakota put in years of hard work and dedication, and it all finally paid off his senior year, when he made his high school varsity basketball team.
Agnes played for May-Port CG’s junior varsity team his first few seasons, rarely missing a practice or team meeting, because he had his sights set on playing for the school’s top team.
“The expectation for Dante, and it’s been since the first day we had him, there’s no difference from what we expect of him and expect of someone else,” head coach Adam Edwards told Inforum.
Agnes secured a spot on the varsity team during his final season, but made it his mission to take his goal to the next level, and earn playing time.
“He’s definitely one of the hardest workers — may not have the talent we do — but he definitely has the work ethic that a lot of people don’t,” said senior guard Reese Hanson.
It was that work ethic that garnered him the opportunity to take center stage in December and, with 40 seconds left in a game, drain the shot of his life.
Agnes and his team were in Minnesota to face Kittson County Central when Coach Edward called Agnes’ number in the fourth quarter. He lined up behind the 3-point line, took a pass from a teammate, and missed. But, in a showing of exemplary showmanship, both his teammates and opponents from Kittson Country rebounded and fed him the ball until he made a long range shot with 10 seconds remaining.
(It’s) been real fun, we have seen him as a little guy growing up, just out here on the playground, and now he’s a senior in high school making threes in varsity games,” Hanson said.
Agnes may be just 5-foot tall, but with a work ethic that’s larger than life, he’s bound for success in whatever he chooses to do going forward.