Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blue Devil senior makes Strong moves

From page B1 | February 13, 2014 |


DHS senior Brandon Strong drives to the basket in Friday's win over Franklin. Strong, a three-year varsity performer, leads the Blue Devils in scoring. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

When teams prepare to play against the fast-paced, 3-point-shot-happy Davis High boys basketball team, they come in expecting that nearly every Blue Devil can shoot from long distance.

However, there is one player who garners special attention from opposing teams: DHS senior sharpshooter Brandon Strong.

Strong remembers growing up with a basketball in his hands at all times, dribbling and playing on a Nerf hoop inside his house with his father Brad.

But Strong was also quite the baseball player in his early years, becoming a dominant pitcher at a young age. But a combination of a few minor arm injuries from pitching and enjoying the fast pace of basketball pushed him toward hoops.

“I played a lot of baseball growing up and I just liked basketball more. I was arguably even better at baseball,” Strong said. “Basketball just interested me more. It was more upbeat, it was more active, and I just loved the sport of basketball.”

Strong added: “When you get to high school it’s hard to play multiple sports at a high level because of the amount of time that’s demanded of you, so I decided to commit to basketball.”

Davis head coach Dan Gonzalez is thankful that Strong chose hoops.

That’s because Strong, who is in his third year playing varsity for the Devils, leads DHS in scoring average (15.2 points per game entering Wednesday). The big scoring number is the direct result of relentless work during the summer to continue to improve his shooting.

“My mom will tell you all the time that I’m always out there shooting,” Strong said. “My teammates would always make fun of me because we would do these shot charts, and I would be shooting 30,000, 40,000 shots every summer. They would give me a hard time, but that’s what it takes to be a good shooter.”

And Strong isn’t just a guy who stands around the perimeter, waiting for an open look. He has worked hard to improve other facets of his game as well.

“I’ve tried to add a few things to my game every year, just always come back to be a better player than I was the year before,” Strong said. “I’ve been adding other things so that I’m not just known as a shooter, that I can do other things as well.”

Since he has been part of The System for all three years that Gonzalez has been running it, his experience has been very helpful.

“Having a player with more experience than some of the other players means that we have a player that understands The System, and has been able to help our new varsity players with The System,” Gonzalez explained.

However, even though Strong’s specialty of knocking down treys is consistent with the basis of The System, he wasn’t so enthusiastic about the playing style when he first encountered it as a sophomore.

“At first, I’m not gonna lie, I was not the biggest fan of The System,” Strong said. “Over these last three years, I’ve really seen how it’s helped our team. We’re not the most athletic team — we don’t jump the highest, or run the fastest, we’re not the tallest — but The System is the great equalizer. We outrun teams and outshoot them.”

During the offseason, Gonzalez briefly stepped down before taking back his position within a week. The veteran coach said that Strong, along with fellow seniors Brett Bloomfield and Matt Michael, played major roles in convincing him to stay for another season.

“I know coach, and his life is basketball,” Strong said. “I told him, ‘What are you going to do if you’re not coaching us?’ He’s always on his computer whenever I go into his room watching YouTube videos, trying to figure out how to do something better or become a better coach. We knew he wanted to be here, and we were willing to do whatever it took to try and get him back.”

Strong wants to continue playing basketball in college, even if it means trying out as a walk-on.

“I’m gonna keep playing basketball until someone tells me I’m not good enough, and even then, I probably won’t believe them,” Strong said. “But I have to put academics first, and that’s how I applied to my schools based on academics. The schools that contacted me to play basketball or work out for them weren’t as good academically as I could get in (to).”

Notes: Strong recently started playing golf more seriously last summer and plans on playing for the Blue Devil boys team this spring. … He is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, and attended the NLCS and a World Series game during the team’s 2012 title run. Strong also is a San Francisco 49ers and Sacramento Kings fan.

— Reach Thomas Oide at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterThomas



Thomas Oide

Thomas Oide is a senior at Davis High School, the editor-in-chief of the DHS student-run newspaper, The HUB, and a staff writer at 12thmanrising.com.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Teens embrace public art through Pence Gallery program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Robotics team members reflect on their big win

    By Kellen Browning | From Page: A1

    City’s eco-classes will explore water, wildlife, pests, composting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Many hands make light work

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Yolo Basin Foundation celebrates 25 years, announces major fund drive

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Yolo County Bar Association honors Magna Carta, probation chief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club leaders will meet April 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Capay Organic hosts Cinco de Mayo party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Chicken manure compost class planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Party celebrates release of Lescroart’s new novel

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Curious about calculus? Try Barcellos’ new book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Master Gardeners teach workshops throughout county

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Faithful Partner Fund established for K-9 officers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Pedro party, lunch benefit Yolo Hospice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Author — injured arm in sling — will sign her new book

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Holmes’ Green Team wins state award

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Vacaville contractor convicted of fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Blueberries, apricots arrive at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    New UCD art lecture series named for Thiebauds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Pinball show features lots of free play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Asian garden open for tours this weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery



    Waking up to the awful truth

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Dog’s freedom isn’t worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Vaccine bill is vital for our health

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Thanks for camera’s return

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    David Brooks: Love and merit

    By David Brooks | From Page: A6

    Davis’ active transportation plan is right on target

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6



    Huge first frame lifts DHS to huge baseball win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil girls run it up on Grant

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD golfers move into first at Big West Championship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Another big inning does in Devil softballers

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

    AAA roundup: Cardinals break out big bats in Davis Little League win

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery





    Momentum Dance Company plans spring concert

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Get a positive vibe Wednesday from Tha Dirt Feelin’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post

    Winters Theatre Company performs on the Big Day of Giving

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    There’s no place like home in DMTC’s ‘Wizard of Oz’

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    ‘Contempt of Court’ next up at Winters Theatre Company

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    Have breakfast in Oz on May 16

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Black Sea Hotel to perform in Village Homes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    DMTC’s young performers present a steam-punk ‘Snow White’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery







    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

    Comics: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7