Staying on Top of the Game

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Jason Montes-Padilla started at SPSCC in fall of 2020 on a scholarship to play basketball. And just like all student-athletes, he's eager to get started with his teammates once it's safe to play college sports again.

Although the Clippers haven’t been able to meet in person as a team, they keep in contact through Zoom meetings and texts. Originally from Puerto Rico, Jason moved to Delta Junction, Alaska, seven years ago when his dad transferred there with the military. But despite the distance to SPSCC, Jason and head coach Jonathan Willis are always texting and are quickly building a strong player-coach relationship.

“Jason has a hunger for excellence and a thirst to execute at a high level. His attention to detail in the classroom and the way he serves his community are precisely the type of character we strive for in all of our young men,” Willis said.

Even with support from his coach, balancing a full-time schedule with online classes requires a lot of self motivation, time management, and discipline. To stay sharp, Jason works out twice a day, six days a week and rests on Sunday. Jason sees staying dedicated to his academic and athletic commitments as a way to keep pushing toward his future plans to transfer to a four-year university and earn a bachelor in science in exercise science.

“It’s about making sure that every hour of the day I’m doing something to better my future."     

Encouragement from Coach Willis helped Jason check into SPSCC’s Black Scholars program. Jason also credits personal growth from the relationship he’s formed with Educational & Career Planner Joe Aguilar, who Jason says has become his mentor. “We have conversations about everything from things going on in the world to playing basketball on scholarship,” Jason said.

Between Aguilar and Coach Willis, Jason said he’s gotten a lot of direction on what scholarships are available to him through SPSCC.

“SPSCC helped a lot with that. They have so much aid and they’re doing a really good job sharing about it.”

How to Stay Game-Ready During COVID

•            Work out for an hour daily

•            Eat a diet of clean, whole foods

•            Work on building mental focus

Become a Clipper

We're looking for student-athletes who want to grow in their sport and academics. Learn more about Clipper Athletics at

Join Black Scholars

The Black Scholars Program helps Black and African American students get through college and graduate by offering mentorship, community, and support services tailored to unique needs around racial identity. 

Jason Montes-Padilla on basketball court
Student-athlete Jason Montes-Padilla is staying at the top of his game by working out six days a week and managing his time to include studying and attending online classes.
Photo by Jason Montes-Padilla