Never Retire Spotlight: Denali Hughes

Our Never Retire Spotlight highlights a player or employee in the UH nation that demonstrates our core values and has a true passion for the game.


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DeNALI HUGHES

“I chose Denali because when I first met her I asked her why is she so serious when it comes to basketball and she told me, “because I take playing seriously.” Over time I noticed she put so much pressure on herself not to fail that I don’t think she knew how to enjoy the game or the process of getting better. Now I think she knows how to enjoy the game and lead by example without having to always physically carry the team by herself. The biggest reason was just because someone isn't looked at as the face of a team or program doesn’t mean they don’t need to be told how proud you are of them and what they do doesn’t go unnoticed.”

-Jazz Williams, Ultimate Hoops Trainer, Colorado Springs


WHY DID YOU START PLAYING BASKETBALL?

I was involved in a Boys and Girls club and an art teacher there said I looked athletic and should play basketball.

WHY DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN ULTIMATE HOOPS?

I was volunteering at a gym and someone there referred me to Jazz. My sister and I then went to some of his camps and we started training with him!

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST BASKETBALL MOMENT?

My proudest moment was when I was in a tournament for my competitive team. We were down by 2 in the last few minutes but then I had a fast break and made the winning 3-point shot!

WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO NEVER RETIRE?

My motivation is my dream to play in college, overseas, and WNBA!

WHO IS YOU ROLE MODEL?

My role model is LeBron James. He receives a lot of hate but still succeeds to be the best player in the league.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM COURT TO PLAY ON?

I would like to play at the Coliseum which means my team made it to either the Final 8, Final 4, or the Championship.

FAVORITE MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE?

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”


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SPEED ROUND

Favorite Meal: lasagna

Favorite trip you've taken: orlando for spring break last year

Favorite sport to watch: Olympic Volleyball

Favorite movie: Wonder Woman

Go-To Basketball Move: Pump fake

Favorite basketball player: Kyrie Irving

Favorite Pump-Up Song: I GET THE BAG by Gucci Mane