The former Heritage point guard/shooting guard, who despite seeing little to no action on the floor with the Patriots, remained determined to play on the collegiate level in spite of the obstacles standing in his way. As a result of this burning desire, these flames will now burn on the court for the Lions after putting his John Hancock on the dotted line this past Thursday to attend Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs.
"It's a relief to know you have it, but it's a difference in having it and being OK with having it," Bester said. "You have to make the best of it and take it far beyond the athletic scholarship. It's been a long time coming. I wouldn't have sacrificed so much for something I really didn't want. A lot of people would've quit, but I wasn't going to quit basketball. It's like a marriage; you just don't quit your wife."
Bester's scholarship to Emmanuel College makes him the first player to sign from Heritage's 2008-09 boys' team.
"When he came in and worked out for us, he worked hard and played hard. He has a lot of growing and improving to do," said Emmanuel College men's head coach T.J. Rosene. "I don't think he can step in right away as most freshmen can't, but I think he has the drive and passion to work at it. Over time, in investing that drive and passion, he'll develop into a player that can help us."
Although he rarely saw action this past season, Bester spent countless hours working on his game outside of uniform with former Division I college players Emanuel Jackson, who played at Stephen F. Austin, and Daphne Mitchell, who suited up at Georgia Tech. While practicing with these athletes, Bester fine-tuned his strengths and began the gradual improvements on his weakness, which will help prepare him for the stiff competition of college basketball.
"There's a scripture that says the last shall be first and in this situation, through his hard work and determination, he's being first at this time," said Jackson. "I always knew that his hard work and determination was going to pay off for him."
Bester has been playing basketball since a preteen in youth leagues, but his commitment to the game began to blossom during his freshman year in high school. In the short time from then until now, his devotion to the sport has blossomed into a full-fledged relationship that consumes every waking moment of his life.
Along with training his body for the bumps and bruises, Bester prepares his mind to handle various game situations in order to make wise decisions that will help him become a successful player in the future.
"If the days were measured in quarters, I would say three of the four quarters is spent on basketball. In class and walking down the hallways, I'm thinking basketball. I'm thinking of what I can do better or what I need to work on. First, it has to develop in the mind. If you think it, you can do it," he said.