Belen Jesuit’s Mike Fernandez Faithfully Prepared for Rivalry Game Against Columbus
By: Akilah Laster
Dibia athlete and Belen Jesuit senior guard, Mike Fernandez, is in an exciting time in is his athletic life. Through diligence and perseverance he will be one step closer to realizing his dreams on signing day as he joins Cornell University’s elite basketball squad and academic institution. With his signing, he will be the third Dibia trainee to advance to the next level.
Mike, however, is focused more on an immediate goal, defeating one of Belen’s historical rivals Columbus High School on Friday, January 18th. The coveted alumni packed game rivalry game will be played at The Bank United Center in Coral Gables, and Mike is anticipatory.
“Although this game is not a district game that matters towards a play-off run, it’s a game for bragging rights,” Mike said.
“This game isn’t only played to win for my team but the whole student body, the alumni and everyone who has ever worn a Belen Jesuit Shirt.”
Mike’s competitive nature will definitely be important in this game as he overcomes a personal distraction.
“One of my closest friends, Johnny Minervino, is the point guard for Columbus, but from tip-off to the final buzzer he’s just another opponent.”
To make sure he is focused, Mike said that he approaches every game with his sure-fire routine.
“I warm up on the stationary bike, do a light lift, go out on the court to get a few shots up and do some two ball dribbling drills.”
“I listen to some Jay-Z and Kanye West to get some nerves out. My step-dad, Joaquin, has taught me to keep a level head and to never psych myself out,” he said.
With sound advice and a steady mind, Mike also leans a lot on the ability of his teammates, something that he appreciates.
“I can never do it on my own,” he said. “Life is all about team work. Winning is all about working together.”
Attending Belen and participating in sports has grounded Mike, who said that the faith and Christian principles instilled in him throughout his tenure have made a difference.
“Attending Belen Jesuit has really influenced me to do everything I do for the greater glory of God,” Mike said. “As a team we pray before every game. And I believe that I wouldn’t be in my position if it wasn’t for all of the blessings that God has given me.”
“Belen has frequently reminded me that academics always come first,” Mike added.
The academic-athletic balance instilled at Belen was paramount in Mike’s decision to sign with Cornell, who he felt Cornell offered a similar foundation.
“I believe Coach Courtney and the Cornell basketball team value developing me as a person and a player,” he said. “I also believe I will return to the program as much as it will give to me. Aside from the athletics, Cornell is a great academic school.”
Mike’s work and faith has fostered positive opportunities in his life, something he said he knew would come into fruition. With the rivalry Columbus game just days away, he is ready to cease another opportunity and come out victorious.
“This is why I work so hard. I work to put myself in the best position to cease every opportunity given to me.”
Game time is scheduled for January 18th, 2013 at 7:30 located at the Bank United Center on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables. GO WOLVERINES!!!!