JOPLIN, Mo. — A duo of basketball standouts at Joplin High School dotted their letters of intent inside Kaminsky Gymnasium late Wednesday afternoon.
Dakarai Allen, who spent one lone season with the Eagles, signed to advance his athletic and academic career at Lewis & Clark Community College while Tommy Hafer departs from an Eagles program, where he was coached by his father, to head to Columbia College.
But it was the first in quite some time that both student-athletes stepped foot into Joplin’s gym. On top of winning a district title this past season, the two share identical feelings of having a unique signing ceremony at their home floor closing one door and opening another.
“I love this gym,” Hafer said. “I grew up here. I grew up playing in this gym. Obviously, with everything going on and to step back foot, especially to decide my future through it, it’s a great feeling.”
Allen remembers the night of winning districts very well.
“That was fun cause jumping all around with my teammates on the court and getting that plaque,” he said. “That trophy, that was the best memory.”
“I’m ready to take just growing up, moving out of the home, just getting out there in the world,” Allen continued. “I’m ready to experience that.”
Both Allen and Hafer intend on majoring in marketing with Hafer focusing on business and Allen wanting to become involved with real estate.