Donovan Bradley poses after winning silver
12 May 2023: Donovan Bradley poses after winning silver in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.66 Credit: Jimmie Aggison/Houston Defender

Accomplishments are the end results of hard work and dedication. Humble Summer Creek senior, Donovan Bradley, had a great season and walked away from the UIL 6A state track meet with two silver medals after running 13.66 in the 110-meter hurdles and 36.46 in the 300-meter hurdles.

Like other 2023 graduates, COVID-19 disrupted Bradley’s freshman season, but didn’t stop his determination.

“My biggest focus freshman year was to make the varsity team because I knew my talent and I thought I was good enough to make it to state,” Bradley said. “I made so many mistakes running, but the speed was there. I wasn’t running slow. I was just a very flawed runner.”

Soon thereafter, Bradley was introduced to the 110-meter hurdles by his coach Ervin Elton. During his sophomore season, after having successful races, Bradley became serious about his craft.

“The first time I saw him doing the 110’s he was doing it with the opposite leg, but he was doing it well,” Elton said. “Once we figured he was using the wrong leg, we switched legs. Seeing him hurdle the 39 inches with the opposite leg and being able to switch, I knew he would be special.”

Bradley’s time of 13.42 in the 110-meter hurdles currently ranks him #4 in the world for U20 according to World Athletics. But at one period of time, before Bradley was serious about track and field, he was all about football. In the seventh grade while playing with friends in the neighborhood Bradley’s life changed in an instant.

“Sometimes a struggle leads to a reward. I used to play football on the street in the neighborhood and I suffered the worst head injury ever after diving for a pass and crashing into a brick mailbox,” Bradley said.

This injury was the first hurdle Bradley had to overcome in his quest for greatness. Due to the head injury impacting his frontal lobe, Bradley suffered intensive migraines followed by extreme anxiety.

“I wasn’t the same for the longest, and honestly, it’s kind of a miracle because I made something out of the harshest situation,” Bradley said. “A lot of times I had extreme anxiety, I would literally pull my hair out because of just the experience. But I learned from it and it made me who I am today.”

Today Bradley has an unweighted GPA of 3.94 and a full-ride scholarship to UC Berkeley where he plans to continue running track while studying computer science.

“Growing up, my parents put an emphasis on my education and I really wanted to maximize my blessings because I know everything that I have is because of God. Berkeley offered me a full ride with money to come back and see my family, which was also a major factor because my family means a lot to me. So, being able to come back and literally get the best education I can for myself while being in a great athletic environment is a blessing,” Bradley said.

Donovan Bradley

Class: 2023

Twitter: @Donovan_Bradle

Races: 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles

Height & weight: 5-feet-10, 181 pounds

Runners he studies: Eric Edwards Jr. (Pro), Alex Chukwukelu (North Forney)

Status: Committed to UC Berkeley

Favorite artists: Kanye West, Joey Bada$$

Favorite subject: Physics

Shout-outs: Shane, my parents, God, Coaches (McCray, Ervin, Spivey, Irv)

I’m originally from Kansas. I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in communication studies. Shortly after moving to Houston in 2007, I began doing photography. I covered cy fair sports...