Ever heard the saying “looks can be deceiving”? Nowhere is that saying more prevalent than in the case of three student-athletes at St. Paul Academy.
Deaon Grant, Demetrius Young and Tyrone Willis have had their share of hardships, rather it be growing up in single family homes, having to take on the responsibility of being a father, or the all too common “seeing a close friend become a victim of the streets”. But don’t look too closely at the baggy clothes, long t-shirts, gold teeth and big chains because these student-athletes are determined to beat the odds.
All seniors on St. Paul’s first high school basketball team, the trio has managed to evolve as the teams leaders both on the court and in the classroom.
Willis leads the team in scoring averaging 30.3 points per game, while spending only a few hours a day in school well on his way to graduation. Willis, a 6-4 guard/forward, spends his time away from school and basketball taking care of his nine month old daughter. Grant , a 6-2 guard/forward, has scored in double figures in eight out of nine games played and is a tenacious defender. The future honor graduate holds a 3.5 grade point average. Young, also a future honor graduate holding a 3.0 GPA, leads the team in steals and assists with 3.1 and 4.8 per game respectively, while only committing five turnovers in the last nine games including six games with no turnovers during that stretch. Young is a 5-10 point guard.
“I’m lucky to have such great talent in my first year of coaching high school basketball”, said head coach Lee Pearson, Jr. “They have helped make the transition from coaching middle school a year ago much easier for me.”
Six of the eight freshmen on the roster played for St. Paul’s middle school team from a year ago, which posted a 25-6 record.
For the senior trio, however, this is their last chance to show the world their talent level in hopes to get into college. Fortunately, they have displayed the kind of academic discipline that will open the eyes of the college basketball and academic scouts and make their transition to college…easy as one…two…three.