EPCC’s baseball team has many international student-athletes. Native Venezuela student-athlete Luis Bravo is one of them.
“I just want to play baseball,” is one of the first things Bravo said at the beginning of his interview.
Ebonee Norris / Tejano Tribune
Luis Bravo practicing his pitch on the Valle Verde baseball field.
Bravo is from Caracas, Venezuela. He started to pursue his education in Criminal Justice at EPCC in 2015.
Baseball Coach Gabriel Saucedo reached out to Bravo after hearing about his talents from another Texas college baseball coach.
“Luis did not “tryout” for the team. Luis was recommended to us by the head baseball coach at Sam Houston State University,” said Saucedo. “He wanted to give Luis a scholarship, but for some unforeseen circumstances was unable to give him one.”
Saucedo believes that Bravo is a good fit for the team, but not only because of his talents.
“He is older than the other guys. So, the team can look up to him for his wisdom,” said Saucedo.
Saucedo also expressed the differences in the way international student-athletes conduct themselves.
“These international players have “burned their bridges.” This may sound negative, but what I mean by that is, they have left everything behind to have a chance to play the game of baseball at the highest level possible,” said Saucedo. “They have everything to lose by not succeeding in this endeavor.”
Saucedo notices that his international student-athletes despise missing practice, as opposed to American athletes, who he thinks view missing practice as a “day-off or a day of rest.”
“If they are not allowed to practice, for whatever reason, it’s like the end of the world for them. When they miss practice, they see it as missing their opportunity to reach their dreams,” said Saucedo.
Bravo began playing baseball at the 4-years-old. His favorite baseball player is Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners, but he also likes second baseman Rougned Odor from the Texas Rangers.
“I like them both. They are really soft when picking up ground balls,» said Bravo, who plays second-baseman and short-stop.
Bravo’s favorite things to do on his spare time is playing baseball and basketball, and going to the gym.
But there are other things that he cares about more.
“I love my family a lot. They are my motivation,” said Bravo.
There are many things that Bravo enjoys about El Paso.
“I like that El Paso is secure. I also like the fact that groceries are cheap, but I don’t like the spicy foods that are very popular here,” said Bravo.