TALLAHASSEE, Fla (seminoles.com) – Harrison Prieto was awarded the Golden Torch Award for the Florida State men’s basketball team for the second consecutive year. The Golden Torch is awarded to the student-athletes with the highest grade point averages on their respective teams. The award was presented on the Doak Campbell Stadium video board during Florida State’s football victory over Jacksonville State on October 3, 2020.
“It feels good to win this award again especially on a team where there are a lot of people who excel academically, said Prieto. “For me to get the Golden Torch award it speaks a lot to the hard work that I have had to do to graduate undergrad.”
Prieto earned his bachelor’s degree in Meteorology in May of 2020 and began work on his Master’s Degree at Florida State in August.
Prieto, from Mandeville, La. and studying Meteorology, has left little doubt about his work ethic both on and off the court. He was a member of the 2020 Florida State Men’s Basketball ACC Championship Team and has earned numerous academic honors including being named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in four consecutive years (2017-20) being selected twice to the NABC Academic Honors Court (2019 and 2020).
“You just have to be aware of what you have coming whether it be games or homework assignments or exams,” said Prieto. “You have to balance it out and figure out how you are going to fit everything in. At the end of the day it is rewarding because I get to play on one of the best basketball teams in the country, and I get to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.”
Prieto was one of the Seminoles’ captains and appeared in 10 games during the 2020 season, which was shortened due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He helped the Seminoles set a school record for ACC wins in a season and win the first regular season ACC Championship in school history.
“Harrison is a great member of our basketball program,” said Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. “He has already earned his degree from Florida State and will play as a graduate student in Meteorology in his fifth season as a member of our team. Harrison is committed to excellence both academically and on the court and exudes the true Seminole spirit. He leads by example which is one of the true traits of a leader.”
Prieto is a member a part of the famous “Green Vipers” scout team for the Seminoles and has helped Florida State to 104 victories in the past four seasons.
“There is really only one goal we have at this point, and that’s to win a National Championship,” said Prieto. We’ve put in a lot of work over the last four to five years to create a winning culture. I think it’s time for us to take that next step.”
Nicknamed “The Weatherman” by the Florida State coaching staff and his teammates, Prieto will continue to study Meteorology as a graduate student this year and hopes to turn his passion into a career.
“That (the weatherman nickname) was just something (former) Coach (Dennis) Gates started calling me and it just stuck,” said Prieto.
Prieto has long been interested in a career in Meteorology.
“I’ve always been very interested in tropical meteorology,” said the redshirt senior. “I am finally in my Master’s program learning a lot about it, and I am taking classes that specialize towards it, so it has been really fulfilling to be able to get in here and answer some of those lifelong questions I have had forever.”
Prieto has interned with the National Weather Service’s Tallahassee office during his studies, but is currently unable to work there to due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was really cool getting to look under the hood at what it was like working at the National Weather Service office,” said Prieto. “I was walking through some forecasting techniques with them and learning how to use their programs which was super cool. It allowed me to apply what I have learned in school to real life.”
Prieto plans on completing his Master’s degree in Meteorology at Florida State by 2022 and turn it into a promising career.
“As a student, I came in knowing I wanted to earn my Master’s degree,” said Prieto. “Florida State has allowed me to learn enough about meteorology to where I have even more questions about the subject. I think that is one of the beauties of the Meteorology program here.
Prieto has known since he was a child that he wanted to study Meteorology. Now in his fifth season with the Seminoles he has been able to continue both his impressive basketball and academic careers at Florida State University.