Go to a gym and ask ballers, “Would you like to play in the NBA one day?” Many athletes would answer with no hesitation, “Yes, of course!”

It’s no secret, playing basketball professionally is not impossible, but definitely a challenge. A player must have size, unbelievable talent and a strong work ethic. And don’t forget luck. In fact, it’s believed that only three in 10,000 high school male athletes will make an NBA roster.

Ever heard of the term student-athlete? Being a student is just as important as being an athlete. There is no athlete without first being a student. Worthing High School’s Coreon Hardy is one of those high school male athletes who hopes to have an opportunity to play professionally one day. However, there is much more to Hardy than basketball.

For years, Hardy has not only put in work on the court, but he has also put in work in the classroom. Because of his strong work ethic, Hardy is academically ranked No. 1 in his junior class.

“It hasn’t been easy,” said Hardy. “It’s been hard, but I have a good support system, a good family and good friends. I can stay on track and I’m able to balance.”

Hardy isn’t afraid to put in the work, wherever it’s required. In fact, on the court, he’s been putting in work consistently for years.

“I started playing basketball in the third grade for DGib Nation,” said Hardy about the basketball organization started by native Houstonian and former NBA player Daniel Gibson. “I’ve been playing with them for nine years now. I like the coach and the team we’ve built. Coach helped me develop different points of my game; left hand and getting into my spots on the floor when I facilitate.”

As a freshman, Hardy played junior varsity but was soon moved to varsity mid-season where he has played since. When asked about Hardy, Coach Antarian Griffin says, “from day one you saw his athleticism, you saw his ability to score a basketball.”

Griffin reiterated that any college recruiter that pursues Hardy will get a genuine student-athlete,

“Number one, you’re getting a scholar. You’re getting a kid that’s going to handle his business in the classroom first. And then secondly, you’re getting a kid that has a skill set and ability to really score a basketball. But what’s underrated about him is his vision. He’s really a true point guard. He looks up the floor and makes the right decisions first before he looks to score the basketball.”

And, apparently, Hardy is putting in work in the kitchen, as well.

After graduation Hardy hopes to continue playing basketball in a collegiate program with a great coach, great teammates and a family atmosphere. While there, he plans on majoring in culinary and hospitality management. He credits his interest in these fields to his grandmother and his HCC teacher Mrs. Daphne Charles.

“I grew up cooking with my grandma. She loved to cook fried okra. My mom also makes alfredo. My favorite thing to cook is seafood alfredo.”

Wherever life takes him, Hardy seems destined to cook up success.

Class: 2024

IG: @Ex0tic.c3

Twitter: @C3upnxt

Measurements: 6’1” 140lbs

Players he studies: Odis Carter (Booker T. Washington HS), Keyonte George (Baylor), Kyrie Irving (Dallas Mavericks)

Status: Uncommitted

Favorite Artist: NoCap

Favorite Subject in School: Math

Shoutouts: God, Mom, Dad, Coach Vern Gibbs, Coach Byron Gibson, Coach Dexter Web, Coach Antarian Griffin, teammates