Name: D’Andre Vilmar
Hometown: Abaco, Bahamas
Currently Resides: New Jersey
All Degrees Received: Associate of Arts in General Studies, Missouri State University-West Plains
“They took me when everyone else pushed me to the side.”
Dreams of a professional basketball career brought Bahamian D’Andre Vilmar to Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) in 2018, but the camaraderie he found with his teammates and other students on campus and the growth he experienced while here was a benefit he didn’t expect.
D’Andre joined the university’s Grizzly Basketball team as a highly touted four-star recruit after an impressive high school and prep school career. Although injury sidelined him his senior season, the Grizzly coaching staff saw promise in the 6-foot, 4-inch guard and brought him in to fill a void left by attrition.
D’Andre took advantage of the opportunity and became a stabilizing force on the Grizzlies, but he also found the tools needed to grow as a student and global citizen through MSU-WP’s academic program, as well.
“When I first got there, I was already determined and driven, but I was afraid of change,” he explained. “Now that I have graduated, I realize that being there helped me overcome my fear of change and taught me how to adapt, but at the same time grow into the person I needed to be. The campus put me in a position where I was able to prioritize and focus on the bigger picture.”
“My greatest achievement was the relationships I made there.”
Attending MSU-WP gave D’Andre many experiences that he will remember for a long time.
“I met some people there who I feel will be at my wedding when the time comes,” he said. “It was truly an unforgettable experience I’ll be reminiscing about years later with my former teammates and friends that I made there.”
“Manage your time as best you can.”
D’Andre is currently in New Jersey weighing his options between transferring to another university to complete his collegiate career or entering the professional basketball realm. But he had some advice for future Grizzlies, whether they are student-athletes or students.
“Do not procrastinate, have your fun. Don’t miss out on the memories that are going to last a lifetime. Stay focused, especially during midterms, and stay prayerful.”