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Posted On: 02/10/18 10:45 AM
Braeden Childress is quietly leading Big Rapids to a big season, averaging 21 points and eight rebounds per game. The Cardinals are 13-1 overall and 9-1 in conference play, which has them in first place. I had the opportunity to ask the 6-foot-5 Central Michigan football signee a few questions about his game, life outside of sports and his future.
Why Central Michigan?
“I chose to play football at CMU because everything about the program and the university felt right. I developed a great relationship with the coaching staff and with the players as well. Most importantly, the graduation rate of student-athletes at CMU stood out to me. Yes, I love to play football, but getting a college degree is what is most important to me.”
What are the biggest strengths of your game?
“The biggest strengths of my game are that I am fast for my size and that I can shoot the ball pretty good. It’s hard for bigs to guard me because I can beat them off the dribble or pull up for a jump shot if they sag off of me.”
What are some things you’re still working on, and what are you doing to improve those aspects of your game?
“I am still working on my free throws and my pull up jumper. I stay after practice every day to get up extra free throws and pull up jumpers to improve those two things.”
How would you describe your style of play?
“A shot creating small forward.”
How would you describe the role you are playing for Big Rapids?
“I am the leader on my team. Being a four year varsity player, I have a lot of experience and knowledge of the game. Players look to me during practice to teach them things and look for me during games to carry the team in the right direction.”
Who are some players you like to mold your game after? Why?
“I love to watch LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and mold my game after those two. They both are mismatches for almost anyone that tries to guard them and are aggressive on both ends of the court.”
What would you like college coaches to know about you that they may not be able to see by just watching film?
“I would want college coaches to know that I can guard any position.”
What goals have you set for the team and yourself this year, and what are you doing to achieve those goals?
“We made a couple of team goals at the beginning of the season. The first one was to win the conference, the second was to not lose on our home floor and the third was to make it to the Breslin Center. To obtain these goals, we know we have to get after it every single day at practice and so far we’ve done a great job at that. A couple of personal goals I set for myself were to become more influential on my teammates, and to be the player of the year in our conference and in the area.”
What motivates you to get better?
“The fact that people sleep on me as a player and my team as a whole is what motivates me to get better.”
What do you like to do outside of basketball?
“Outside of basketball, I love to workout and spend time with my family.”
If you could play with any other player in the country, who would it be and why?
“If I could play with one other player in this country, it would be Zion Williamson. He plays with so much energy and passion for the game. I would love to play with someone like that.”
Who is the toughest player you’ve had to guard/play against?
“The toughest player I’ve had to guard was a 7 foot big from Stevensville Lakeshore. He was tall enough to shoot over me, and the refs didn’t allow me to play him physical, so it was tough.”
What team not on your schedule would you like to play? Why?
“The one team not on our schedule that I’d like to play would be Godwin Heights. They are said to be one of the best teams in Class B, but I would take my team over any other team in the state. I think it would be a really good game.”
What is the toughest environment you’ve had to play in?
“The toughest environment I’ve ever had to play in was our quarterfinals game against Essexville Garber. It was a sold out gym and everyone expected them to beat us, but we ended up winning by 17 points. It was one of the funnest games I’ve played in.”