Michael Pleasant knew what he wanted to be a sports broadcaster when he was 9 years old.
The Kennewick High School graduate was surrounded by talk about sports all of the time. His family talked about it at gatherings and around the dinner table.
Each day when he gets home, he talks about the latest sports news with his dad.
“I knew what I wanted to be, but I had to put in some effort to get there,” he said. “I love sports. I can talk about baseball, tennis, anything with my dad.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
While Pleasant knew what he wanted to do when he graduated, getting there was a little trickier. When he entered high school, he found his grades were slipping.
“I was only putting in 20 minutes of homework in for a class and kind of breezing through the assignments,” he said. “I realized that sophomore year that I had to get something out of every class.”
Pleasant knew he needed to put in the maximum effort, and that meant cutting back on playing video games and other distractions.
During his freshman year, he would go home and play games for two or three hours before cracking his textbooks.
“I felt like I’m better than this. I should put more effort in,” he said. “My parents always check up on my grades, but there was an inner thing in me, a drive that I should get good grades.”
He slowly stopped playing, then decided to sell his PlayStation during his senior year. Without the distraction he goes home, does his homework, then does housework.
“I enjoy it, and I can still play if I wanted to, but I thought it would really help me mature in the process of focusing on college,” he said.
The focus on his studies paid off. He earned a 3.8 grade point average.
He credited a lot of his success to the support of his parents, never pressured him into following a certain path.
“I got to choose my direction. I figured out that I should be doing better and that’s what I did,” he said. “They were always the ones that supported my deicsions. That’s what drove me.”
He is taking his positive attitude to Arizona State University, where he plans to study sports journalism.
“I feel like I’m getting close to starting my journey,” he said.