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Emiliano Garza (front row center) signed his national letter of intent to attend Victoria College on June 5. Garza will play on the college's men's basketball team, which competes in the NJCAA's Region XIV. Garza's parents and grandparents joined him at the signing, as did, back row from left, Goliad Athletic Director Kevin Salazar, Victoria College Athletic Director Josh Moore and Goliad boys basketball coach Patrick Mackey. (Photo by Kevin J. Keller)

GOLIAD – Emiliano Garza has dreamed about playing collegiate basketball since he was just knee-high to a grasshopper.

He will fulfill that dream later this year.

Garza, flanked by his parents and grandparents, signed his national letter of intent to continue his academic and basketball career at Victoria College at a signing ceremony held June 5 at the Goliad ISD Events Center.

“They reached out to me on a recruiting website and they offered me a spot,” Garza said after signing on the dotted line.

“It’s close to home and I’ve always dreamed of playing college basketball, whether it was JUCO, (Division I), (Division II), just as long as I got to play the game I’ve grown a passion for.

“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to follow that and Victoria College gave me that opportunity.”

Victoria College competes at the Division I level in the NJCAA’s Region XIV. The Pirates are members of the region’s South Division, which also features Coastal Bend College in Beeville.

Last year was the program’s first year in the NJCAA. Previously, all sports at the college competed exclusively in the Texas College Club Sports League, but the men’s basketball and volleyball programs moved into the NJCAA beginning with the 2019-20 season.

The Pirates went 0-24 overall and 0-19 in their inaugural NJCAA season.

“I’m going to give 150 percent on the court every time,” Garza said about his goals at VC. “And I’m going to make sure that my grades stay up there as well.

“As my play develops, so will my grades. ... I just hope those two will work hand-in-hand.”

Kevin J. Keller has been the sports editor at the Beeville Bee-Picayune since 2014. He can be reached by email at sports@mysoutex.com or by phone at 361-343-5223, or you can follow him on Twitter @beepicsports.

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