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Leprechaun's Spotlight - Dionte Raines

Born and raised in Anderson, IN, our #4 shooting guard is our spotlight player of the week. Dionte Raines, also known as "Te", has been playing basketball all his life. His mother, Amber Smith, raised Dionte and his sister while running her business at the same time! With all of that she still kept him in the game and supported him through it. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Dionte, you can see the strength, compassion, and kindness that his mother instilled in him. Our #4 is always supportive, ready to lead with class, and there is always a smile on his face.

Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

Dionte truly makes sure to give admiration and credit to the ones who are there for him.

"A Huge shoutout to my mom for putting the ball in my hands at the age of 3 and for helping me become the man that I am today! There is so much motivation that comes from seeing what she did for me and my sister growing up, running her own business, and holding it down when there wasn't any other choice. She always kept my head on straight, kept me from getting in trouble, and I cannot thank her enough for all the sacrifices she went through because of me. Now it is time to pay her back and make her proud!

-Dionte Raines

Dionte, his mother, and his sister

Photos Supplied by Kayla

While growing up in Anderson, Dionte met Kayla for the first time in class in the 1st grade. "We had a crush on each other haha. I actually put a heart around his picture in my yearbook. For 3rd grade I changed schools but we met again freshman year. Sophomore year we went to a birthday party and it was cold outside and he gave me his red Nike hoodie to leave in so I wouldn’t be cold. A couple of months later, we started dating. So as of this year we have been together for 10 years!!! We have had bumps along the way and time apart.. but we always say that we had to go apart to grow together, that beautiful family we once dreamed of in high school is now our reality." Kayla also recognizes, Amber (Te's mother), "She made sure that Dionte was always playing, as his love for basketball was so strong. As a single mom of 2, I know it wasn’t easy, but she made it happen! She is still cheering him on and is a big support!"

Photos supplied by Kayla

"I really enjoy being a family man and raising my 2 daughters with the love of my life! It is truly a blessing to be able to raise them the correct way and show them what it is like to have 2 parents in the house. HUGE shoutout to my girl Kayla for being the best mother of my children that I could ask for! She understands my lifestyle and allows me to fully chase my dreams without any complaints at all. The support and love she shows me everyday is a huge reason why I go so hard for our family today!"

-Dionte Raines

Photos Supplied by Kayla

Photo Credit: AJ at leprechaun news

"Dionte is one of the most hardworking people I have ever met. He does so much to provide for our family, on top of trying to follow his dreams. He has to balance work (multiple jobs), basketball, and family.. it’s hard but he’s doing a great job even when he thinks he isn’t. I am able to be a stay at home mom because of how hard he works! He is kind, strong willed, resilient, and honest."


Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

Dionte Raines, has FOUR jobs. He tutors at an elementary school, basketball training at M14 in Noblesville, plays basketball for the Leprechauns, and he has his own shoe restoration business. (@draines_restorations on Instagram). He has been cleaning shoes since his sophomore year of high school, so if you need any work done, he is your guy! He offers deep cleans, gets the yellowing out of shoes, removes creases, etc. WOW! Somehow he manages to balance all of that hard work AND succeeds phenomenally as a family man.

"I never thought that I would be a tutor or a basketball trainer because all I ever wanted to do was hoop. But since doing this, it has taught me a lot about myself and I get the chance to impact the generations after me in a positive way. This means a lot to me because I do not think there is any point in having knowledge and wisdom if you do not use it and pass it down. It made me realize life isn't always about me, it's about helping the people around you, giving them guidance, showing them the right way to do things, and leaving a legacy that my kids will be proud of."

-Dionte Raines

Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

Dionte played basketball all through high school, but he broke his wrist and only got to play in 6 games his senior year. After healing he went to Kingston Academy Prep School in Ohio and got his senior year playing time back. After Prep School, Te went to JUCO to Lewis and Clark in Illinois and made the 2018 All Region and All Conference Team. After that season, he was playing 3 on 3 when he broke his tibia (shin bone) in two places. Things were tough for Dionte at this time but thankfully he got a scholarship to Three Rivers in Missouri. While strengthening up after his injury and getting ready to get back on court, 9 months after the injury, he was released from the doctor and ready to get back out on the court. He was finally ready to compete at 100% again, but at that very first practice he rebroke the same shin! He had to redshirt that year, but he healed up and played the next year.

I cannot imagine jumping back into something after an injury like that. This definitely proves his devotion to the game.

"I was beyond proud of myself because most would've been done, but I knew I had a lot left to prove. I graduated and finished my last 2 years at IU East and then played for the Indiana All-Americans in the TBL, which is where I met Coach Benson!"

-Dionte Raines

Photos Supplied by Dionte Raines

Dionte stands out. His hard work is evident. His determination is even more evident. His coaches can see the fire in him.

“I was introduced to Dionte 3 years ago while I was coaching the All-Americans and to be honest I didn’t think he’d be the player he was. He went through the grind of the first year and showed what he could really do. He and I stayed in close contact and he was always asking what he could work on to get better. Year 2 comes around and he just explodes. Things didn’t go the way we hoped in year 2 but Te never quit. Year 3 comes along and he just shows even more improvement not only from skill but from a vocal stand point. He’s becoming more of a leader. I’m really proud of how much he’s grown over the 3 years and is continuing to grow. One thing about Te that stands out to me is that he is always in the gym working, if he’s not there he’s being the best Dad & Partner to Kayla he could be which I love seeing his love for his Family!"

-Coach John Benson

Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

"Dionte never wants to stop getting better."

-Assistant Coach Tim Hird

At practice, Dionte is always encouraging his teammates. He hypes them up. He helps them be better. High fives and offering advice, he is the definition of a team player. Watching these guys practice is always a treat, you get to see them grow together as a family, they really lean on each other. Dionte is a leader in this, if not THE leader. They are all supportive, but Dionte works hard at it, excels at it. He is an inspiration.

"Dionte is a great guy all around. I’ve actually known of him the last three years, two obviously being on the same team. The first year I played against him when I was with the enforcers and he was with the all Americans. Dionte is the type of guy you want on your team, but don’t want to play against. Extremely competitive. He expects 100% effort from everyone on our team. He’s a great leader, leads by example. I’m extremely happy to be on his team and not playing against him anymore!"

-Alex Cole

Photo Credit: M.A. Studios Photography

For the last two seasons you have watched Dionte play for our Leprechauns with pride. He is an incredible asset to our community and the fans adore him. "Also, Dionte doesn’t just play basketball.. he lives it. In high school he would go to school before school even started and get shots up. If he had a bad game he would stay after and put shots up. Now to this day he works out everyday, is in the gym everyday, even on the days he has practices and games." Kayla adds. "His dream is to play over seas and I know he will get there. He loves playing for the Leprechauns though. He loves the community, the fans, and that he is close to home."

Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

Lebanon loves you too Dionte, we will always stand with you. You are truly an inspiration in every single aspect of your life. I know I am incredibly proud to call you a friend. I want to give a personal thanks for always helping the crazy blogger lady with so much. He truly makes what I do feel important and he always has words of appreciation for my work.

He always goes above and beyond for the team, for the staff. Whatever is needed, he will help out with.

"Te, is very inspiring. He lives in the moment. He takes the time to experience life. While we were in Canada, he went sight seeing with me. While most of the guys were solely focused on the game, Te made time for both. He was in a new place and knew just like I did, that memories needed to be made."

-Britney Nickle - VP of Operations

Photo Credit: Britney Nickle

Dionte Raines, our #4 jersey continues to inspire all of those lucky enough to be around him. He does not have a massive ego, he doesn't take all of his success for granted, he is humble and kind, and an absolute treasure to our team. Where does this hardworking man get his inspiration? He is a man of faith and a family man. He always makes sure to give credit where it is due.

"I'm a man of faith and I want to give thanks, honor, and all glory to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, YAHUAH and His son Yahusha Hamashiach. I have experienced some trials and tribulations in my life and He has been there every step of the way, guiding me through it all. Having a personal relationship with Him is life changing and I would definitely recommend creating one if you haven't already! Basketball has brought a lot of joy and happiness in life, but it doesn't compare to the joy and love I feel from being in His presence. All praises be to Him and His son! (John 16:33)"

-Dionte Raines

Photo Supplied by Dionte Raines

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