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The Antelope

Closure leads California native to Nebraska

After his last school closed, Damiri Lindo’s search for a new home led him to Kearney
Redshirt junior Damiri Lindo brings the ball across mid court during UNK’s 89-68 loss to Washburn at home. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

Redshirt junior forward Damiri Lindo has stepped into the spotlight in his first season at UNK. Going from California to Kearney is no easy task, but Lindo has made the transition look seamless.

Lindo has learned to believe in his daily preparation and said that his drive to thrive will take him far.

“There’s always room for improvement and growth, but that starts with you,” Lindo said. “If you want to succeed, you have to put in the work. Winning is going to happen because of the things you do on a daily basis.”

Lindo grew up in Oakland, California, and started playing sports at the age of 5. His mother, father and grandparents were all athletes and that “trickled down” to Damiri.

Despite his extensive sports background, Lindo wanted to specialize in one. Before his junior year of high school, he decided to focus solely on basketball.  

Lindo then committed to play at the Division II level for Holy Names University, a private Catholic institution in Oakland. At Holy Names, Lindo averaged 9.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He spent three seasons as a Hawk before he was forced to find another school.

In May of 2023, Holy Names University closed its doors for good. The impact of COVID-19 and various financial issues were the main reasons the school shut down. Holy Names University opened in 1868.

Lindo was forced to enter the transfer portal but remains thankful for his time as a Hawk.

“Holy Names was a real part of the community, and it was there for 150 years,” Lindo said. “It was sad to see it go but at the same time, I’m glad that I was a part of the last team to ever play there.”

Outside of basketball, Lindo is inspired by his family. Delroy Lindo, his father, is a successful actor who has appeared in many television series and movies. 

Damiri has always admired his “Pops” and his work ethic.

“I’ve seen firsthand the work that goes in to doing something great,” Lindo said. “Seeing what he’s done and being proud of what he’s built means a lot to me.”

When Lindo entered the transfer portal, here were several schools interested in him. He wanted to go somewhere and compete against high level opponents. UNK was an instant fit for Lindo once he met the coaches and players and toured the facilities and campus.

Lindo has started all but one game this season, averaging 12.5 points per game and shooting nearly 40% from 3-point range. 

The highlight of his season came on Dec. 7 when he scored 21 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in a game against Missouri Western. His 21-point performance included a game-winning half-court shot to beat the 22nd ranked Griffons.

Although the Lopers are just 5-15 on the season, Lindo strives to be a person who won’t make excuses or waver when facing adversity.

“We’re focused on staying connected and staying locked in as a team,” Lindo said. “There’s going to be ups and downs, but we still can make the conference tournament. For us it’s about finishing this season strong and staying together as a group.”

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