Resilient Raven Rebounds from Trying Time


Jeannie Peng-Armao/San Jacinto College Marketing, Public Relations, and Government Affairs Department

Former UH football player Elton Dyer bounced back from his mother’s crushing cancer diagnosis by clinching a spot on the SJC Men’s Basketball team.

Elton Dyer. Some know him as a Ravens basketball player, while others know him as “the transfer” from University of Houston. Some just know him as a fellow student at San Jac. But there is a story behind the name and the face.

Dyer graduated from South Houston High School in 2014 where he was a three-sport athlete. South Houston high school coach Patrick McCoy says at the time, he was sure Dyer was on course for collegiate athletics, but did not know whether it would be football, basketball, or track.

“I knew from the moment that I saw Elton during the summer open gym sessions that he would have the opportunity to further his athletic career beyond high school,” McCoy says.

Currently sporting jersey number 23 under Ravens Head Coach Scott Gernander, Dyer says he has grown since his days at South Houston now viewing sports as an important opportunity, rather than a recreational pastime.

“In high school, I used to play the game just to play,” he says. “Now, if this is something I want to do in life, I have to treat it like a job.”

In addition to evolving from a shy freshman to a talented young adult, McCoy says Dyer emerged as a player team members can get behind.

“Through his four years at South Houston, he developed into a tremendous leader,” McCoy says. “Over the years he developed into a great overall basketball player, and he continues to develop under Coach Gernander’s leadership.”

After graduating, Dyer signed with the University of Houston’s football program and was redshirted during his first season. The plan was for Dyer to become an important wide receiver for the Cougars, but his journey took a bumpy turn.

“When I was at U of H, my mom had cancer and that was during the season,” he says. “I couldn’t practice right.” Dyer decided to take some time off and focus on his family because he adds, it was what mattered to him most.

In August 2015, he enrolled at the Central campus and became a walk-on for the men’s basketball team.

“I was sorry that it did not work out like he wanted it to for him at U of H,” McCoy says, “but at the same time, I was very excited to hear that he would be attending San Jac to play basketball.”

As for the future, Dyer’s goals include finishing school and becoming a professional athlete. However, he says, if that does not work out, he will have the education to fall back on and is interested in a career that lets him stay connected to sports in some way.

“Elton wants to be a physical therapist when he graduates college. I think that he would make a great coach,” McCoy states. “He could come in tomorrow and run our practices for us if he wanted to.”

In the meantime, Dyer’s vision is both simple and ambitious. “I can see myself playing overseas and supporting my family,” he says, “giving them stuff they always wished they had.”

McCoy says, regardless of the direction Dyer’s life takes, his upbringing gave him the foundation to do well.

“Elton will be successful in anything that he does, because he is loyal, a hard worker and shows compassion for everyone that he comes in contact with,” he says. “These values are what separate Elton and why he will be successful.”