#PSBPopCulture: Deeper Than Basketball – February 12, 2016
By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture
I was on hand to watch Branden Mayweather and Geoffrey Pierce coach their school teams to Georgia High School state tournament bids yesterday. I’ve known them both since we were students and to watch them positively impact the next generation in their own way is refreshing. Mayweather walks the sidelines in a suit and tie with hard bottom dress shoes. Pierce does his 1-2 in a short sleeve polo, khaki pants and a crisp pair of Jordan’s. Let’s rewind to how it all came full circle last night.
I met Branden 17 years ago in the old gym at North Gwinnett High. At the time, he was a seventh grader playing for Bill Green‘s Northeast Atlanta Hawks club team. I was a senior at North when Bill asked me to come and help coach the team. Basketball has always been a passion of mine so I decided to give it a shot. Over the course of the season, Branden and the other kids including Lee Burrell, Jason Cook, Jake Green, Isley Malone and Darren Williams amongst others. Some of those guys went on to play high school varsity and even at the collegiate level with Mayweather being one of them.
After the Hawks season ended, I headed off to college myself at Georgia Southern University where I connected with Geoffrey. Ironically, he attended high school at Central Gwinnett before heading to Statesboro for college himself. It was living next door to Pierce on a campus best known for winning football national championships where my vision for Peach State Basketball, Inc., rose from the concrete like a tree in Brooklyn.
Sidenote: Special shoutout to Brookwood coach Daniel Bowles whose team lost a tight one to Pierce in yesterday’s state qualifying matchup. I remember playing pickup ball at the YMCA with Bowles during his days as a student at Brookwood. He was passionate about the game back then and might just be more passionate about it now.
Pierce and his roommate, Chapman Logan, were there every step of the way as the G(winnett) Co. Report got off of the ground. Websites were far more primitive with fonts and graphics being limited making content king. We spent hours to develop what was a groundbreaking site complete with rankings and player interviews.
Along the way, Pierce developed an itch to teach the game himself chasing the dream to Grayson High in 2013 after working at Meadowcreek. Logan and another GSU alum, Sam Clonts, still support Geoffrey’s calling to this day and were on hand for Grayson victory last night.
All the while, Mayweather was building his resume with a stint as an assistant at Archer before accepting the head job at Central in 2013. Along the way, he’s become an integral part of the Peach State Basketball family and his facility serves as the hub for all of our Elite Basketball Academy camps. He’s even hired Front End Supervisor, Vincent Smith, as a part of his Central basketball operations staff.
Mayweather and Pierce are prime examples of the fact that relationships are everything in life. For the young men they coach now will become the next generation of coaches, leaders and teachers. I just hope they’re listening and paying attention. If so, they too will have a story to tell about how the game of basketball helped them build lifelong relationships with first class people.
Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.