By Jasmine Younger
Humboldt State University’s men’s basketball guard Victor Mijas, who some may know as Slick Vic, took on his senior year facing the challenges of COVID-19. The pandemic swept the nation by storm in 2019, leaving athletes across the world questioning whether or not they would be fortunate enough to see a 2020-2021 sports season. As luck would have it, they did – Humboldt State men’s basketball team was given the go-ahead to have a season.
This season, the Jacks endured extra precautions for COVID-19, they played every game away and overall went 4-5 for the season.
“When we started in August, we had to quarantine for 14 days before we started to get into the gym,” Mijas said. “In September, we actually started to get into the gym, but we were separated into pods of two groups of nine players for practice and when we were actually about to start scrimmaging and play against each other, Covid got really bad again and we all had to go back home. We practiced for two weeks and then started to play games, so it was hard for us to get in shape. Most of the teams we played were already playing a long time before us so their chemistry was better. And I think we could’ve been way better if we had more time to practice.”
However, the challenges presented by COVID-19 were not the only obstacles Mijas has had to overcome. When Mijas first started playing basketball at the age of six in Brazil, he was told that he would not make it far in the sport that he had such a deep love for.
“When I was young, a lot of people said to me that I would never go to the under 12, under 13, or under 17 team,” Mijas said. “But I knew what I was capable of and I never let those comments push me down.”
Mijas was devoted to the game and determined to make an impact on the sport itself and on others. He worked hard to make Brazil’s under 12, under 13, under 17, under 19 teams, and to pursue his collegiate career. He has had a powerful role in encouraging his teammates and exuberating confidence in the team that shows that they will come out stronger after a loss or any obstacle that comes their way.
“Something I learned from Vic was to always trust myself in anything I do,“ Sophomore forward Isaiah Hughes said of his teammate Mijas. “I once asked Victor how he shoots so well and he told me ‘I shoot every shot like I know it’s going in because I know I’ve made the same shot thousands of times.’”
Mijas has proven to not only be a confident, slick, great, and devoted athlete, but also a genuinely good person on and off the court. He has had the ability to create connections with every person who has crossed his path throughout his journey. One of the strong connections he created was with Humboldt State alum and former Jacks teammate, Zachariah Christian. Christian found great admiration for him and his journey.
“What I admire most about Slick Vic is definitely his story – leaving his family and country at a young age to chase his basketball dream and to get to where he is now is really remarkable,” Christain said. “Vic is going to be a pro after his collegiate career ends and how far he has come is really admirable.”
Mijas started every game this season and wrapped up his senior year having 104 points with the Jacks. However, this was not the end of Mijas’ basketball journey, but simply a chapter within the chronicles.
“I plan to keep on playing basketball until I can’t,” Mijas said. “My passion is to keep playing basketball and achieve my goals and dreams.”