Posted Date: 04/21/2021
by Rich Hilliard
DODD CITY -- Senior Dani Baccus and process go together.
On the basketball court, she demonstrated her dedication to it.
Baccus has been described as a "floor general" and "a pass-first point guard" by head coach Alex Stephenson.
Being the one to score meant little -- facilitating a successful offensive possession for the Dodd City Lady Hornets meant more.
Baccus had a similar approach when it came to deciding where she would continue her basketball career.
"I didn't want to rush the process," said Baccus, "but the moment I walked [into Hardin-Simmons], I felt welcome.
"Everybody wanted me there," she said. "They made me feel loved and at home ..."
Baccus also cited "Hardin-Simmons [having] a really good program" at her signing day on April 20 with the university in Abilene, held in the Dodd City High School Gymnasium, with family, teammates, coaches and other well-wishers in attendance.
"She's the best leader I've ever coached -- on and off the floor," said Stephenson. "She exemplifies what we preach here.
"She's done everything the right way and been committed to the process."
Stephenson, who has coached Baccus throughout her junior high and high school career at Dodd City, foresaw the success she would have on the basketball court.
"I knew in junior high she would do special things," said Stephenson. "You don't coach too many who enjoy every aspect of the game."
Baccus' high school basketball career concluded on March 10, as she helped Dodd City win the Class 1A State girls championship -- going undefeated and knocking off perennial champion and title-game nemesis Nazareth, 30-21, in the Lady Hornets' fourth title-game appearance in the last five years.
About her basketball career at Dodd City, Baccus -- an all-star selection, multiple times an all-state selection by two different organizations and an all-district superlative winner -- will remember one thing in particular: "The bond with this team this year."
"Every team [on which I've played here] has had a bond, but we played as one this year," said Baccus. "Even if we argued, we knew how to fix it.
"Leaving here will probably be one of the hardest things for me," she said. "The memories will stay with me forever.
"I hope to build on that at Hardin-Simmons."