Posted On: 09/20/18 1:14 PM

A rising forward in the 2021 class, Barstow’s Branden Eckles is gearing up for a breakout season after putting together a solid freshman campaign for the Knights last year.

At 6’5, Eckles is a strong, athletic forward who runs the floor well and brings a well-rounded skill set to the floor.

“I would describe my game as very strong and  fast paced,” he said. “I like to believe that when I play it is fun to watch, and that is how I want it to be. Very fun to watch but will do whatever it takes to win the game for the team.”

Eckles is coming off a strong summer competing with the KC Run GMC 15U squad and says the experience has helped prepare him for the upcoming season.

“Traveling and watching our older team play has taught me a lot,” Eckles said. “Where the ball should be placed and when it should be placed there is just one of the things. The small stuff is what makes the good players better than the others.”

Eckles says he has spent the offseason focused on improving all aspects of his game, including being a better playmaker in transition.

“I am working on everything this offseason,” he said. “You can’t be satisfied with where you are at at any point in your basketball career. Mainly this offseason I have been working on my athleticism and learning how to read and make plays in transition.”

A fan of NBA standout big man Demarcus Cousins, Eckles says his dad has had the biggest impact on his basketball career to date.

“The person who has had the biggest influence on my basketball career would have to be my dad,” he said. “He pushes me to try new things everyday and is always with me through thick and thin.”