BEAUMONT, Texas — It has been an amazing for Beaumont Central's Nijal Pearson. After becoming Texas state's all-time leading scorer earlier this year, he's headed overseas to play professional basketball in France for Chorale Roanne.
"It means everything man. It's a dream come true. You know, I'm a professional basketball player and just saying that makes me happy. You know, just hearing and saying it and it being true, it being a real thing. It's been a long journey. Lifelong journey. And it's not over. You know this is just the beginning for me. It's my rookie season and I want to build off of it, I want to continue to grow, I want to continue to get better. And I just want to be the best basketball player and best person I can be."
When asked if he ever imagined becoming Texas State's all-time career scoring leader, Pearson was humble with his response.
"I didn't even know what the record was, was the record attainable, what I needed to do to chase the record. And I feel like that's somewhat is the reason I caught the record. You know I never had it in my mind. My mindset was to play as hard as I could and give my all and give the best of my ability every time I step on the court. Work hard when no ones looking and work hard when people are looking. I'm focused on being the best me I can be and giving the game everything I had and the game gave it back to me."
Pearson's Texas State team had their season cut short in the Sun Belt Conference Semifinals by COVID-19. It's something that will stay in the back of his mind.
"It always will. You know it always will. It's like a little asterisk right there and it's painful that we didn't get to finish it off, but I mean it's selfish of me to be angry like that when the whole world has stopped. You know what I'm saying? It hurts and it's unfortunate, extremely unfortunate, but it's probably what's for the best."
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