Despite ‘Last Chance U’ fame, new Hawai’i receiver Dior Scott remains unchanged

Sports

Newfound fame has not changed Dior Scott.

The former Laney College receiver was one of the central characters in the fifth season of Netflix’s “Last Chance U,” which was shot during the 2019 junior college football season.

Scott is currently a walk-on receiver for the University of Hawaii football team and has been on the islands for about nine months. But after his extensive camera time on the show with all eight episodes getting released on July 28, things have not been the same.

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Scott has been consistently lauded on social media in the weeks since the show aired. Last Chance U has followed its show’s subjects in real-life situations for all five seasons. In Season 5, Scott won viewers over with his hard work and passion. On top of being one of Laney’s best players, he was also living out of his car while working at Wingstop. All of this was on top of attending classes at Laney and having Work-Study responsibilities as well.

“People have reached out to me saying I inspire them, and not even me living in the car,” Scott said in a Zoom call to Hawaii media. “Just the issue with my father, my mental health, they really relate to that because they might be going through similar things like me so they feel like my story was personal to them. It’s a blessing, a great feeling that I can inspire other people through my story.”

As Scott alluded to, he also dealt with mental health and family issues while trying to balance everything else in his life. On the field, even though he was Laney’s most productive receiver, a slew of injuries to the team’s quarterbacks led him to man the position for a chunk of the season. Scott’s strained relationship with his father was also documented. The stress of getting stretched thin caused him to have anxiety, which at times would cause shortness of breath.

His honesty and relatability through it all endeared him to the Netflix audience and has inspired others to address their own struggles.

“I understand that somebody needs to start the conversation, something to spark a fire,” he said. “I think I did that so hopefully we are more aware of mental health issues, especially people my age because we are sometimes afraid to share our feelings. But I feel like we need to stop being afraid and tell people our feelings so we can be better as people.”

With his junior college eligibility coming to an end after the 2019 season, Scott moved to Hawaii to walk-on to the UH football team in hopes of earning an eventual scholarship under head coach Nick Rolovich.

Shortly into Scott’s time on the islands, Rolovich departed the school to become the new head coach at Washington State. Hawaii hired Todd Graham to be its next head coach eight days later. After talking to Graham, the mission at UH remains the same for Scott.

“I felt that fire and desire in his heart and I want to be part of something special. He always talks about faith, family, football and that’s three things he’s really about,” Scott said. “He just don’t say it, he’s really about it and he’s just passionate about the game. He can elevate my level and the coaching staff has helped me become a better player mentally and just physically.”

During Season 5 of Last Chance U, Scott expressed a desire to start a new chapter away from his home state of California. Although moving to Hawaii aligned with those plans, it wasn’t easy at first.

“Outside of football, it was a shipwreck. I felt like the first two to three months, I was crying to my mom every week talking about I want to go see her, I want to go to my mom,” he recalled. “I think that was me being homesick so I went back home, gathered myself a little bit, came back to Hawaii with a better attitude.”

Despite the initial homesickness, Scott seems to have settled in on his new home.

“What I learned about Hawaii, everything is about family. Everything is about family and that was new to me because I was in Oakland by myself the majority of the time so I really didn’t have family like that,” he said. “So coming from a place where I’m fending for myself to a place where they embrace me and treat me like family was really different and truly a blessing.”

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