St. Augustine’s Caleb Daniels returns to New Orleans with Villanova in the Final Four

Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 11:41 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For Caleb Daniels, the goal of coming home and playing for a national title was the easy part of his adventure. It was off the court where he encountered problems.

“It was a long journey. It still is a long journey,” said the Villanova senior guard. “When I initially caught COVID, it was very stressful. Trying to get back, trying to stay in shape was tough, because I’m going through a lot of pain when I initially caught COVID last year.

“Taking off the whole summer because I had myocarditis, it really helped me. I just took it day by day and realized it was a marathon. The healing process isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to be more of a gradual time period. So, the coaches and my brother kept me up.”

Daniels was raised Uptown, attended St. Augustine High, and transferred from Tulane to Villanova. He’s New Orleans to the core, and it shows on the court.

“We are all very resilient people,” Daniels said. “We’ve been through a lot, as a city, as people. I feel like, even through Hurricane Katrina, us just recovering. That has (put) a chip on all of our shoulders. Even as basketball players, we play and you can see it. I feel that’s a huge part, and that’s who we are.”

Daniels will have a huge cheering section Saturday evening. But the Wildcats guard made it known to his family, this is not a pleasure trip.

“My parents know me very well,” Daniels said. “They know I’m very business-oriented. Especially when it comes to basketball. So, they know I have a 94x50 focus (the dimensions of a basketball court).

“That’s what they taught me growing up, throughout the game. They share the same concepts as me.”

Daniels graduated from St. Aug in 2017, as the valedictorian of his class.

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