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Ignacio Dacunda: Hooping For a Better Life

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman)

DAVENPORT, Iowa – From Concordia, Argentina Ignacio Dacunda is a sophomore who started his college basketball career with the Bees. After almost two years, he reflects on the achievements and the challenges he had to overcome to play for coach Ray.

Dacunda averages 11.6 points per game, the second-highest on the team, and leads the team in rebounds with 6.6 per game. Although not a full-time starter in his first season, Dacunda has played 17 in the starting lineup in a span of 26 games with an important role for the team.

The Argentinian guard was recruited by the Bees through an agency called NCSA, and says that one of the reasons he decided to sign with Ambrose was “because the campus is a very good one compared to the others.”

However, it was still complicated for Dacunda to adapt to the culture.

“Eating times are earlier than I am used to, and language plays a big part on the adaptation process,” told Dacunda.

Despite the adversities he has faced throughout these two years, he states that the most challenging one was the way in which the game is played. 

“In Argentina the game is slower and tactical in comparison with the United States where it is played at a higher pace,” described Dacunda.

Dacunda encourages other foreign players to take the opportunity and “prepare mentally, and physically, because being a student-athlete can be very challenging,” described Dacunda.

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman)

Family has been, “of massive support,” for Dacunda, as without them, “this opportunity would have never been possible, they always wish the best for me and try to watch every game.” 

What some could consider a challenge when moving to another country, making friends was an, “easy thing to do,” for Dacunda.

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman)

“It was easy due to the already existing international community, especially the spanish speakers. Everyone was very nice to me in classrooms and I felt welcomed everywhere I went, the team was good as well,” Dacunda added.

Looking into the future, he claims the team, “feels different” from last season. “You can breath a different air during practices. Last season there was a losing mentality, which wasn`t exciting, now everyone wants to be better and win.”

Dacunda and his teammates prepare ahead of the CCAC Conference Tournament Quarterfinals, where they will take on Olivet Nazarene on February 28.