Harrison Prieto won the Golden Torch Award for the Florida State men’s basketball team at the 29th annual Golden Torch Gala. This Gala, hosted by Student-Athlete Academic Services and Seminole Boosters, celebrates the academic excellence of the more than 500 Florida State student-athletes. The award is presented to an individual on each Seminole team, along with awards presented to the men’s team and one women’s teams with the highest GPA. This award has been presented in the fall every year since 1991.
Prieto, a redshirt-junior from Mandeville, La., joined the FSU men’s basketball Team in 2016. From his first semester on campus, Prieto has excelled academically. He has been named to the dean’s list four times, and made ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Prieto was also a part of the men’s basketball team in 2017 that was named as a National Association of Basketball Coaches Academic Team of Excellence and was named to the 2019 NABC Academic Honors Court.
Ever since his childhood, Prieto has known that he wanted to study meteorology. While coming to Florida State to make that a reality, he was also given the chance to continue his basketball career.
“Florida State has one of the best Meteorology departments in the country,” said Prieto. “I get to go to class and learn about things that I’ve always wanted to learn. I’ve wanted to be a meteorologist since I was a little kid.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for all the hard work you put in every day, from class to practice to playing games. And to be honored for performing well in the classroom is a bonus.”
During this past summer, Prieto interned with the National Weather Service in its offices in Tallahassee. He continues to intern there now that the semester has started. While he’s writing airport weather reports, local forecasts and radar observations, he’s gaining knowledge from behind the scenes to figure out the exact path he wants when he begins his professional career.
Prieto made a special appearance on The Weather Channel with Jim Cantore and Florida State Meteorology alumnus Stephanie Abrams last spring.
“His teammates call him The Weatherman because he has found a major he is excited about, does well in and is going to make into his career,” said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton.
Prieto is an integral part of the basketball team. It has been said by teammates and coaches that his place on the “Green Team Vipers” – a group of reserves that help prepare the starters for upcoming games – has made a difference.
“Harrison is one of the hardest workers on our team and has been since he joined the team as a freshman,” said Hamilton. “We know what we are going to get from him as a player every day in practice – he’s a guy who is ready to do anything we ask of him.”
The Florida State men’s basketball team is full of individuals who strive for excellence on and off the court.
“The academic success of our players is one of the cornerstones of our basketball program,” said Hamilton. “Each of our players prides himself on performing well in the classroom.”
The coaching staff emphasizes that accomplishments in academics will carry through their future.
“There are a lot of smart guys on this team that just as much deserve the award,” Prieto said. “So the fact that I was chosen to receive the award is really an honor.”