By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The 2013-14 Brighton Basketball Cardinals are a young team.
Definitely too young to remember a 1980s cop drama like “Hunter.” And the 1990s comedy “Hangin With Mr. Cooper” might make a Cardinal player pull out their smartphone to check Google.
But for veteran Head Coach Darryle Rogers a quick check of his roster brings to mind those television shows. All-District forward Lorenzo Hunt makes Roger vision his team as hunters in the District 13-3A race this upcoming season.
And the combination of brothers Tramine and Tyvon “Ty” Cooper has Rogers glad he’s hanging around the guards.
“The Coopers are going to make some big adjustments,” he said. “I’m expecting a lot out of the older Cooper. Tyvon he’s a senior. I’ve been talking to him about leadership and being their leader on and off the floor and on the bench.
“The other Cooper, Tramanine, I love him,” Rogers continued. “He’s posed and calm. He knows how things are going to be. We’re hanging with the Coopers this year. As far as the Coopers take us, is how far we’ll go.”
The Coopers were tested in the preseason in scrimmages against teams like Germantown, Wooddale and defending Class 3A State champs Southwind.
Rogers said the Coopers are just a part of his winning formula. Players like Hunt will have to evalute their game in order for the Cardinals to make some noise in district.
“From Hunt I expect a whole lot from him,” Rogers said. I expect him to be the all around player that’s needed on any basketball team. Lorenzo Hunt, Tramanine Cooper, John Francis and Diamante Blackwell, I expect those guys to grow and mature together. I expect that bond to form.
“Anything worth having is worth working for,” he added. “And these guys have put some work in. They’ve put in their time in the gym to get better.”
Other key players in the mix will be senior Milton Hardy and defensive specialist Antonio Miller. Hunt said the Cardinals have been working hard becoming a cohesive unit.
“I feel we’ve improved a whole lot as a team,” the junior forward said. “We’re still learning to come together. As the season goes along more, we’ll be together like we’re supposed to be.
“Ty, being his senior year, he’s been stepping up a whole lot,” Hunt added. “And Tra, he’s a sophomore but he’s doing big things for us. He’s going to help us a lot.”
Hunt said he’s ready to do his part to help the Cardinals return back to the top of the league.
“I’m looking forward to stepping up my role,” he said. “But it’s a team thing. You have to look out for your teammates, you can’t be selfish.”
More like the Huxtables from “The Cosby Show” than the group from “The White Shadow,” the Cardinals are bonding like a family. Rogers will be the first to admit his neighborhood is full of youthful potential.
“They’re still young that the maturity hasn’t set in through the preseason yet,” he acknowledged. “With us and everybody having an automatic bid from District 13-3A to the Region, maybe we’ll be that somebody who can beat the strong giant from the other side in Arlington.
“You still have the strong West Tennessee teams like White Station and Hamilton,” Rogers concluded. “We’re just going again, probably take some more bumps and bruises. But hopefully by February we’ll be able to peak and hopefully be competitive.”