Montigel Living Lifelong Dream at TCU
March 7, 2014
By: Barrett Segesta, TCU Media Relations
Growing up in the city of Fort Worth Thomas Montigel always dreamed of stepping on to the court inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and playing college basketball. He played high school ball within walking distance of TCU's campus at Paschal High School and his father was once a Horned Frog basketball assistant coach. Montigel had his sights set on TCU as a child and would let nothing hold him back from making his dream a reality.
"Playing at TCU has always been a dream of mine," Montigel said. "Being local and growing up around the campus I knew I wanted to be apart of the TCU community. I heard stories of my dads collegiate career and then coaching stories of when he was coaching under Coach Killingworth and I knew I wanted to follow in my dads footsteps of playing college ball and being able to play where he used to coach and still works at was something I couldn't pass up if I had the opportunity."
The road to becoming a collegiate athlete would not be easy but Montigel felt that he was up for the challenge. In order to achieve this goal Montigel would have to put his head down and work harder than he ever had before. The end of Montigel's senior season of high school was not a time to reminisce about his days on the court, it was time to go out and continue making memories that would last him a lifetime.
"After my high school and AAU career was over I didn't have any scholarship offers but I knew I didn't want my basketball career to end and I wanted to pursue basketball at a higher level," Montigel said. "I wanted to be part of the TCU program I had heard so much about when I was younger."
This yearning to be a part of an organization he grew up around fueled the fire to keep him motivated during the off-season. Montigel spent countless hours training and practicing in hopes that he would get his chance to become a walk-on for the TCU basketball program. His chance would come early in his freshman year when tryouts were held. During these tryouts Montigel would finally get a chance to show his progression as a player and fulfill his lifelong dreams.
"I was nervous," Montigel said. "I think it was the most I have ever wanted something so when I found out I made the team it was instant relief, but at the same time new nerves came in and I knew I had a lot of work to do. Right now I feel like the work has paid off."
The work has certainly paid off for Montigel. Over the past four years of his college career Montigel has come across tough ranked opponents in both the Mountain West and Big 12 Conference. Through these experiences Montigel has matured as player but also as a man off the court. The opportunities that the basketball program presented Montigel would teach him valuable lessons that he could apply to his everyday life.
"I've played the last four year at TCU and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I am so grateful for Coach Johnson and his staff for believing in me and giving me a chance to pursue my life long dream," Montigel said. "The coaching staff has done a great job influencing me on and off the court and help shape me into the person I am today. Because of basketball, I know I have gained a great sense of dedication and developed hard working skills that I wouldn't have if I did not play."
Thanks to his determination and discipline Montigel propelled himself to a level of success that would make the surrounding Fort Worth area proud. Heading into his last game at the DMC Montigel can hold his head high knowing that he is not only living out his dreams but is also serving as an inspiration to small kids on the playground with big aspirations.