Fine arts, state fairs, and basketball

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles) – It was while growing up in Syracuse that Quincy Ballard’s journey in his basketball career began.

Ballard will realize some nostalgia on Saturday when the Seminoles host Syracuse in their first game of the season against the ACC. The advice is given at 4 p.m. at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State’s game against Syracuse will be Ballard’s first time facing the Orange after the scheduled game between the two teams last season was canceled.

A victory for the Seminoles over the Orange will allow the State of Florida to seize a piece of the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference. A Garnet and Gold victory would be the longest consecutive home conference winning streak in CCA history with 26 straight games.

In a New York City suburb, at the age of just five, Ballard picked up a basketball for the first time. Being the only athlete in the family, he didn’t realize how far the sport would take him until he started playing in earnest in Hanninger High School.

After his one season at Hanninger – after leading his team to the state championship playoffs – he moved to Quality Education Academy in North Carolina. It was at QEA that he showed his true potential as a rising basketball star. He averaged 14.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 blocked shots in his third cycle season.

“My mom got a call from school in North Carolina [QEA]Said Ballard. “She thought it would be a great idea to visit there. The following weekend we visited. I started training and playing with them. Both schools were fun to play, they were both winners and we had winning seasons. I think I improved a lot when I went to school in North Carolina [QEA]. I had a great coach. He was smart; he really knew how to use players on all occasions.

His decision to play basketball at Florida State was not taken lightly, as he had four other offers, including from his hometown school – Syracuse University – as well as from Cincinnati, Maryland and NC State. .

“It was a pretty tough choice, but I picked Florida State because there’s a good vibe here,” Ballard said. “Coach Hamilton is a great coach, he really knows how to develop his great man. It was a good choice to come here.

Ballard is one of four seven-footers on the Florida State basketball team. After growing five inches over the past four years, he has reached his current height of exactly seven feet tall.

“Developing their great man,” in Ballard’s words, took hard work and dedication not only to himself but to all of his coaches.

“In basketball, that’s (the size) a big advantage,” said Ballard. “It feels good to be this tall. Sometimes you can be the biggest in your city, especially in Syracuse. I don’t see as (a lot) big people around there, or in North Carolina.

For Ballard, much of his improvement since arriving at Florida State has come on the defensive end of the field.

“I thank the coaches for that (his improvement defensively),” Ballard said. “They worked on me throughout the spring and summer seasons; they helped me with my stance, lateral movements, my stance and my general quick movements.

In addition to his year-round training, Ballard is currently studying humanities for his major. He hopes to focus on his true passion for the fine arts and plans to pursue a master’s degree at Florida State.

“I really want to go to Fine Arts,” Ballard said. “I’m trying to get into graphic design. I have had this interest for a long time. I like to draw comics. I started to get into IT and graphics. Whatever happens with graphic design, I’d be happy to.

Ballard has the opportunity to visit the house [Syracuse] quite often, not only seeing his family, but also attending the great New York State Fair.

The fair is a multi-day summer celebration held in Syracuse. As if the festivities weren’t enough, the young Ballard couldn’t get enough of the food and rides that accompany the fair each year.

“I loved the rides when I was younger,” Ballard said. “I grew up because of it because I’m really tall. I haven’t been on a roller coaster for so long. My favorite trick is the Fireball; it’s probably just the craziest ride and my favorite at the same time. I also love food, and just going for a walk; just have a good time. There are so many good things out there. My favorite food is the huge turkey thigh, it tastes so good.

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