Don’yae Baylor-Carroll ’18
Milton Hershey School taught Don’yae Baylor-Carroll ’18 the value of discipline and a strong support system. Five years after graduation, those lessons help him to continue to thrive on and off the basketball court.
On Jan. 6, Baylor-Carroll became the all-time leading scorer for the Penn State Harrisburg men’s basketball team when he brought his point grand total to 1,716. Baylor-Carroll holds the same record at MHS, where he finished his career with 1,725 points.
“He was the best player, but also the hardest worker. There was a direct correlation,” MHS Athletic Director Mark Zerbe said. “He’s not scared of anything.”
Zerbe was the MHS boys’ basketball team’s head coach when Baylor-Carroll was a student.
When Baylor-Carroll reached his latest milestone, Zerbe and several others from MHS were courtside to cheer him on. He appreciates that five years after graduation, his MHS family continues to show support.
Baylor-Carroll grew up admiring LA Laker LeBron James. He enrolled in MHS as a kindergartner, where his teachers and coaches taught him success requires discipline. Friend and fellow MHS alum Pedro Rodriguez ’18 remembers Baylor-Carroll being the first person in his student home to wake up on weekends. While others were still sleeping, Baylor-Carroll was outside shooting hoops. Rodriguez often joined him.
“Don’yae is not just a good player, he pushes others around him to be better,” Rodriguez said.
The most memorable season of Zerbe’s tenure came in 2017-18, Baylor-Carroll and Rodriguez’s senior year. The Spartans racked up 26 wins, captured the District 3 Championship, and advanced to the PIAA 5A Championship Tournament Semifinal Round for the first time in program history as a 5A boys’ basketball team. Baylor-Carroll was named the PennLive Player of the Year, while Rodriguez earned all-star honors. For his efforts, Zerbe was named the PennLive Coach of the Year and earned the Abe Garner Outstanding Coach Award following a tremendous campaign.
Baylor-Carroll and Rodriguez graduated but maintained their relationship with their former coach.
“I always call it the MILT brotherhood. We aim to be completely unselfish and be there for our teammates,” Zerbe said.
Since graduating from MHS, Baylor-Carroll earned his associate’s degree in business administration. Much like Zerbe supports him, Baylor-Carroll gives back to MHS. He occasionally visits boys’ basketball team practices, where his friend Rodriguez serves as an assistant coach.
Watching those relationships continue puts a big smile on Zerbe’s face.
“It’s the best. It makes you realize the staff is making an impact,” he said.
That smile will become even larger when Zerbe watches Baylor-Carroll receive his second college diploma, a bachelor’s degree in communications, later this year.