One-on-one with Iowa wide receiver Diante Vines

The Daily Iowan: What does it mean to you to come here to Iowa from Connecticut?

Diana Vines: It’s quite big just because not many people make it that far. Coming from the East Coast and living in the Midwest, it’s a blessing to be able to get into such a great school and play in the Big Ten. Representing the Hawkeyes is pretty cool to me.

TUE: What was it like growing up in Connecticut, going to school there and stuff like that?

vines: It’s pretty cool. My first high school, Danbury High, was a pretty fun school. I’ve had all my best friends since I was younger. We all went to the same high school, so it was a pretty good time. Then I went to Taft, it was a pretty good time too. It was different because I was in boarding school now, but it was still a fun time. I got to know life far away from home early and somehow it helped me to come here.

TUE: So you also played basketball. What was your basketball career like?

vines: I was a [Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference] defender in high school. I won the FCIAC championship in high school, so it’s been a pretty good career. I scored a few points in my time and played a lot of defense, but I had a lot of fun playing high school basketball.

TUE: What position did you play?

vines: Shooting Guard.

TUE: So were you more of a moderator or more of a shooter?

vines: I have my buckets. I got a few buckets, but I really did everything for us. I usually defended the best player on the pitch and also did everything I could in attack.

TUE: Were you interested in playing basketball in college or just soccer?

vines: Growing up, I wanted to play basketball in college. I just understood that I’m better at soccer, so I wanted to play soccer.

TUE: Did you want to stay at home or did you want to expand your reach when you looked at colleges?

vines: I didn’t want to stay home. I wanted to go somewhere further just because staying at home wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but I wanted to kind of broaden my horizons, go somewhere further and just grow as a man, evolve as a man.

TUE: What does it mean to you to wear the number 0?

vines: It means a lot to me that they trust me to actually wear the #0 here at the university. It’s a blessing and an honor to be the first person to wear it. I really appreciate the coaches for trusting me to start the number right and having the legacy of starting with #0.

TUE: Who do you live with around here?

vines: I’m living with Leshon Williams and running back.

TUE: How is this connection to him?

vines: He’s one of my best friends since I’ve been here. We rented a room my freshman year and we’ve been roommates ever since for the last three years and we hang out every day. We have so much to laugh about. We’re quite a close friendship.

TUE: where do you hang out Is it mostly at home or in the city?

vines: We hang out everywhere. A lot of the time we’re just in the apartments, chilling and listening to music, joking at each other, maybe playing a little video games and such.

TUE: When you leave your apartment, where do you go?

vines: I’ll probably just get some food, go to Chipotle’s. Maybe go to the movies, something like that. Nothing too crazy.

TUE: What types of films do you like to watch?

vines: I like all kinds of movies. I’m a cinema major. Scary movies are pretty cool. I’m not usually scared of them, but they’re a cool thing to look at. But I like comedy more.

TUE: What’s your favorite comedy you’ve seen?

vines: “Friday” is good. Rush hour, all those rush hours are good.

TUE: What are you doing with this major?

vines: Hopefully after my soccer career is over I might be able to write some scripts and hopefully film or produce the scripts that I do write.

TUE: Are you just a cinema major or are you studying something else?

vines: I have an African American studies minor.

TUE: What does it mean to you to study African American Studies as a minor?

vines: As an African American, it is good for me to get to know my cultural background. So I feel like learning this stuff allows me to understand more about myself and my ancestors and just know about so many things that are happening in the world today because it’s a lot about African Americans and treatment and stuff . So just being aware of the fact and speaking out about it, as a Black person, I think it’s really important.

TUE: Do you have favorite professors at the university?

vines: I don’t think I have a favourite. I think all my professors are pretty good.

TUE: Nico Ragaini is also from Connecticut. What is it like to have another receiver from the same state as you in the reception room?

vines: This is my dog. I didn’t know him when he was in Connecticut, but it’s pretty cool that we made it here and are now sharing the field. Like last week, he and I played a lot of snaps together. So it’s pretty crazy for two guys from little Connecticut to make it onto one of the biggest stages and share the field together.

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.