Derek Hearod file photo

Derek Hearod returns for his senior season with the Buffs. Coach Will Holiman said his hard work and commitment will be a valuable asset, as well as the leadership from all the senior players.

Derek Hearod feels most at home on the hardwood, and behind a camera.

The McAlester senior is playing his final season of basketball as a Buff. And as he looked back on his transition from Frink-Chambers to MHS as a freshman, he smiled as he remembered his first thoughts.

“It’s bigger, and more intense, but I love it,” Hearod said. “I love the challenge.”

Hearod has been playing basketball from a young age, fresh out of his toddler years. When asked what his favorite part about the game was, he didn’t hesitate to say just how much he enjoys being out on the court.

“Just competing, man. And being out here with all my guys,” Hearod said. “I enjoy that, and enjoy everything off the court too.”

Hearod said he’s proud of the way he’s grown as both a player and a person. And now that he’s in his final year of high school, he said he’s taking his duties as a senior seriously to help try to lead the new generation of Buffs ballers.

“(I’m) being more vocal and being more of a leader,” Hearod said. “Especially this year. Trying to lead these young guys, and guide them in the right direction...It’s definitely challenging at times, but we’re all in this together. So we get through it.”

Outside of basketball, Hearod said that he likes to hit the links and play a little golf. He said he started a few years ago and has played at courses around the area and across the state.

But when asked about his best round, he gave a friendly little laugh.

“We’re getting there,” Hearod said. “I’d rather not say.”

But there’s another passion Hearod has that he said will fuel his college and career aspirations. He plans to go to Eastern Oklahoma State College and then the University of Oklahoma to pursue a degree in filmography.

“I’ve been in digital media for three years now,” Hearod said. “And photography. It’s kind of a side hobby.”

He said he likes to make highlight videos, as well as take landscape photos and the like. And the dream career for Hearod would combine his two loves of film and basketball, as he said he would like to seek a job filming for the NBA.

But before he gets there and starts reaching for those goals, Hearod said he is enjoying his senior year of high school. He’s proud to have been a Buff, and said he has a special couple of people in his life that have helped make him the person he is today.

“Definitely my mom and dad. They push me to be better, especially in school, and sports and stuff like that,” Hearod said. “They’ve definitely been my biggest supporters.”

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com.

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