When you perform at an arena as tremendous as Little Caesars you want to make an impact and that starts with the game plan drawn up by the coach. Coach Brandon Peoples has been a coach for nine years now. Peoples previously coached football at Michigan Collegiate and also worked at a nonprofit organization at Wayne State University, helping low-income families find access to sports complexes for their young athletes.
“I got into coaching because I wanted to help young men and use basketball as a tool to do this” said Peoples.
Many of his players - such as seniors Sam Stewart and Demond Taylor, and junior shooter Angel Jaramillo - have assisted by taking on leadership roles.
“They spent the summer working out and getting new members on board,” said Peoples.
Sam “Sosa” Stewart is the lefthanded leader that has shown a varsity talent since freshman year. Stewart has been playing since the fifth grade and found basketball as an outlet.
”Basketball put me in a mindset to get better and to work hard and to provide for my family,” said Stewart. In his eyes. playing at Little Caesars Arena is much different than playing at Cristo Rey. ”Playing at Little Caesars Arena just gives you a mindset to work hard and [you view it as] a given opportunity because not many have it,” he said.
Stewart has observed major improvement in the team since his freshman year when the team struggled. The team is now working to reach district championships. Stewart’s personal goal is to win division playoffs and the Catholic League championship at University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.
Stewart faced the game at Little Caesars Arena as an opportunity for growth.
”It’s an obstacle to get over and there will be more obstacles to get past after this one,” said Stewart. “Those type of things drive you to do better.”
After Stewart graduates, he hopes to attend Lourdes University in Toledo, Ohio, where he will reunite with high school friend and teammate Zion Stone.
Ricardo Campos is a three sport athlete and an honor roll student, who participates with great effort in each extracurricular he is in, whether it’s basketball, baseball, cross country. Campos has been playing basketball since the sixth grade at Holy Redeemer Elementary School. Now in high school, he sees that all of the excitement from events like this cannot distract him from his studies and practice.
“We have to focus on the next day and what we have in front of us,” said Campos. “So when we have homework, we do that, and when we have practice, we shift it to that.”
Campos attributes a lot of his motivation to his fellow teammates, as well as mental and physical preparation.
“I play a lot of sports, so you feel like it's tiring if you don't want to do it. But, I push through it and I enjoy to play the sport,” he said.
This preparation gives him the confidence to perform well.
“If you don't have confidence then you won't be able to play as good as you know you can,” sais Campos.
The upperclassmen weren’t the only ones preparing for the Little Caesars game. Freshman Lamondo Brown has had a passion for basketball since the age of seven and family was a big influence to make him want to play.
“It runs in my family and I got a passion for it, that’s just what I like doing,” he said.
After Brown’s varsity talent was noticed by Coach Peoples, he realized there was a lot of opportunity waiting for him in basketball.
“I never thought I would be playing at that level,” Brown said.
Brown’s main goal is to play at the collegiate level and knows what it will take to get there. According to Brown, the coaches stress the importance of grades.
Brown continues to grow as a person and a player and not only has big dreams of being a showcase on a college court, but the simple dream of walking across the stage with cap and gown his senior year.