This archived article was written by: Jada Clark
Brandon Sly, from Riverton, Utah, is the Utah State University Eastern men’s basketball teams’ 19-year old sophomore captain and starting point guard.
Sly is taking his general classes, and is undecided with his major. However, after he graduates this year, he would not mind going somewhere different, as long as he still had the opportunity to continue to play basketball.
Having two older sisters and an older brother plus one younger sister, Sly’s mother is a hairstylist, and his father helps families in Utah County.
Sly has played basketball since he was eight and says that at one point, he played football, soccer and basketball at the same time. “There was a point where I would have practices for all three sports, but I would pick basketball every time.”
Sly also has played baseball. “I just always liked basketball more, it’s fun, and I’m not really sure how I fell in love with the game.”
The biggest differences Sly sees from the player he was from high school is that he is more vocal and a stronger leader than before.
“Honestly, I would rather pass than shoot, that’s what sets me apart from other players. My strength on the court is attacking the basket, so I can kick the ball out to a teammate for a shot,” Sly said.
“Pressuring the ball, and staying in front of who I am defending is one of my weaknesses,” Sly continued.
Sly talks about the team and how they have a chance to be successful with their season, if the team continues to work hard. “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” is his favorite sports quote, which was by Kevin Durant.
Communication is by far the key factor to the team’s success thus far, Sly said, however “communication on defense” can be an issue with the team.
“Practices are intense, the coaches expect a lot from us,” Sly said.
Although being a captain has it perks, with a lot of players looking up to him, Sly says he can’t take a day off; he has to perform and be that example for the team. One of the most difficult things Sly has to deal with in practices, is the lack of a substitute, he rarely gets breaks and often has to fight through being tired so he can perform. In games, staying out of foul trouble seems to be the most difficult for Sly.
Sly’s teammates describe him as small, quick, and a great teammate. “The bond with my teammates is really good, everyone’s cool. I like them.”
Sly’s favorite moment with the team was at Eastern’s very first dance. “It was so much fun hanging out with everyone for the first time,” he says.
“Winning is very important, I would seriously do anything to win, whether that means taking a charge, or fouling out, I will do it,” Sly said without hesitation. “I hate losing, when we lose, I get really mad and I take all the blame.”
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, is Sly’s favorite player. “He’s so confident in what he does, he is afraid of failing. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I can be afraid to fail,” he confessed.
Being a student-athlete can be pretty stressful, but for Sly, he enjoys it. “I like being a student athlete, the instructors are understanding and I just try to get all my work done a week before.
“The fact that I’ve earned a basketball scholarship is something I am most proud of,” he says. “If you make a mistake, find a way to fix it, and not make it again,” his philosophy on life.