WVWC’s Padrino chases dream in professional basketball with Gaiteros De Zuila in Venezuela

BUCKHANNON — Anyone attending a West Virginia Wesleyan College men’s basketball team this year got to see the Bobcats’ hot shooting guard, #12 Deiker Padrino. Shortly after the 2023-2024 season ended in early March, Padrino signed with Gaiteros Del Zulia, a pro basketball team in Marcaibo, Venezuela.

Deiker not only led the Mountain East Conference this past season in three-point percentage but was also one of the best in the NCAA in three-pointers made and percentage. He finished the season averaging nearly 17 points a game and shot nearly 90 percent from the foul line. This impressive season led to a exciting couple of weeks after the season. According to Padrino, agents began calling, and he narrowed the list of offers down to accept a deal in Venezuela where he has started his professional basketball career.

“I have sacrificed for many years to get to this point,” said the former Bobcat. ” When I decided to transfer to West Virginia Wesleyan, I was just trusting God. He put me in this position and I owe all of it to trusting him. My teammates and coaches gave me the freedom to have a successful year and it paid off. It was a great decision to come to West Virginia Wesleyan and play for Coach Sloan. I am very grateful and will always hold Buckhannon close to my heart. I have made a lot of friends in the community through my church and will always call Buckhannon my second home.”

Men’s basketball head coach, Derek Sloan had this to say about Deiker Padrino, “Nobody worked harder than Deiker to prepare himself for this moment. He was a real pro every day in practice and always put up extra shots outside of practice. We are very proud of him and the future he is about to begin. We will always remember the great person and player that he was here in the orange and black.”

Padrino will take advantage of the opportunities that are in front of him. His efforts on the court at Rockefeller Center gave him the opportunity to grow and find a place in the professional arena.

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