KENNER, La. — Three years ago, Nomar Dijol picked up a basketball for the first time as a teenager in the Dominican Republic.
Months later, Nomar would move to the United States to live with his father, enrolling as a sophomore at Bonnabel High School with hopes of trying out for the Bruins’ basketball program.
“In the Dominican, I never learned about the basketball game. I just knew how to shoot the ball, be around people and that was about it. Here it was hard because basketball is more than just a game when you think about it. It’s just more than X’s and O’s. So, English was kind of hard in the beginning, so I just put my everything into it. And, when I was learning basketball, I was learning English,” says Nomar Dijol.
Nomar didn’t turn heads in his junior varsity tryout, but he did do one thing that caught the attention of the Bonnabel coaching staff and current head coach Micah Hagans.
“I have never had a kid tell me thank you for letting me try out. So, once I saw that and I kind of saw him play, I said let’s give this a chance. I told him to come back in 3 months because right now, it’s just varsity and we were doing conditioning for the varsity. He would come every day and just work out like 50 feet away from us. Whatever they were doing he was doing, ” says Bonnabel Head Basketball Coach Micah Hagans.
The basketball court would become a place for Nomar to perfect his craft, his English, and build relationships with classmates including Bruins standout Will Allen.
In Bonnabel’s 2019 championship game run, the results of Nomar’s countless work started to show.
“I remember we were playing Jalen Cook and Walker. Torrence had some foul trouble. We put Nomar in and he just guarded like he was crazy, and I was like he’s fearless because you’re going against an LSU commit and he had no worries. He wanted the assignment, and I was like he’s ready to take the next step,” says Coach Hagans.
Nomar became a lethal scoring threat his senior season, averaging 13 points a game.
Last week in front of his entire family, friends, and teammates, he put pen to paper to live out his dream of playing college ball by signing with Baton Rouge Community College.
“It just made it more special. I couldn’t even speak that day. I was shaking and everything and when I started mentioning some of my teammates, like Will (Allen) I just looked at him in the eyes and could see that he was crying. When I saw him with that reaction, I was like, I think I made him proud. Just looking at him made me realize how special it was to him for me to have that day,” says Dijol.
The highlight of his basketball career so far.
The best is still ahead.
Here is the full interview with Nomar Dijol:
Here is the full interview with Bonnabel Head Basketball Coach Micah Hagans: