Basketball guard’s desire for success lands him at CRC


Jonathan Wong

Sophomore guard Brandon Scott shooting a shot against Santa Rosa Junior College on Jan. 31. Scott ended the game with 36 minutes played, seven rebounds, 30 points and the game-winning shot.

It’s the end of the 2nd half in a back-and-forth men’s basketball game with both teams tied at 62 points.

The Cosumnes River College Hawks receive the ball with 12 seconds left in the game and a chance to beat Santa Rosa Junior College to continue their seven-game win streak.

Head coach Jonathan James called his assistant coaches over to him and huddled up.

“What are you guys thinking?” James asked.

Their responses were unified.

“We are living and dying by Brandon,” the coaches said, as recalled by James.

Sophomore guard Brandon Scott received the ball, dribbled his way down the court, hit a crossover step, took the shot and swish. Scott secured the win for the Hawks with a final score of 65-62.

Scott is 21 years old, but his competitive nature and mindset to improve has pushed him to travel back and forth from the east and west coast in search for a college that will give him the best opportunity to improve as a player. On his journey throughout college, he has leaned on his family and mentor for support.

“My family is a big, big instrument in my life,” Scott said. “They support me, they finance me, they take care of me, so they are really supportive of me and I wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff I do without them.”

Scott grew up in Hammond, Indiana, but after graduating from Northridge Bishop Knoll Institute, he moved to California to attend Feather River College.

“One of the coaches, he knew a guy out here in Cali and his name is Jermaine Hill and he was the coach of that Feather River College,” Scott said.

Scott made his way onto the honors list, but the season was canceled after a few games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott left the following semester to go to Rider University in New Jersey, but stayed in touch with Hill.

Rider University is a division one basketball school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. After a semester, he had complications with the coaching staff and went back to Hill for advice on his next steps.

Hill had known of CRC and assisted Scott in joining the Hawks.

“My nephew out here runs a prep school and he turned me on to the program, but I was familiar with it because I lived in Sacramento,” Hill said.

James said he was happy to have Scott on the team.

“It was one of those things where Brandon kind of just fell into my lap,” James said. “But Brandon is a special player to say the least, so we were happy to get him.”

Scott’s personality rubbed some members of the team the wrong way, including current friend and teammate sophomore forward LaDarious Stanfield. Stanfield said that Scott was very confident when he first arrived at CRC.

Scott said that some of his comments were truthful and “probably a little arrogant.”

“I was starting at the beginning of the season, but then like midseason, they were saying they didn’t really like my attitude and stuff,” Scott said. ”So they took me out of the starting lineup, wasn’t getting a lot of minutes.”

This caused James to give Scott an ultimatum.

Scott said that James told him that he had a week to prove that he should be on the team or he will be kicked off the team.

The Hawks faced American River College and Modesto Junior College that week and Scott took advantage of the opportunity he was given off the bench. Scott was a reserve for the game against ARC, but led the team in points with 12 and had a total of four rebounds.

He was then moved to starter for the Modesto game. He finished the game tied for the most rebounds with 10 while putting up 15 points.

“I always tell our team, we can’t accomplish our goals without one another,” James said. “That’s what we started to do. We started just to rely on one another and that helped us as a team, helped me as a coach and helped Brandon as an individual.”

Scott has remained as a starter for the Hawks while the team’s record is 12-2 since he was promoted back to the starting lineup.

“He really learned how to sacrifice to help our team win,” Stanfield said. “He’s a great guy.”

James said he gives kudos to Scott for his growing maturity throughout the year and focusing more on the team rather than individual scores.

Scott said he realized the importance of academics and has been recognized at CRC for achieving over a 3.0 GPA as he continues to pursue his psychology major. However, he said his main goal continues to be basketball and to achieve his dream of playing in the NBA or the Euroleague like his brother, Frederick Jr. Scott.

“He inspired me to continue to keep working because he made it seem tangible because you see everybody (and think) like ‘how do these people get to these places?’ and stuff like that,” Scott said. “He was in the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), played against Duke, played against North Carolina, all those schools, so he made it seem tangible, made it seem like realistically I can do it.”

Scott has considered attending San Jose State University in the future, as well as other schools that have sent him offers such as Louisiana State University, Manhattan University and Sacramento State.

Scott looked back on his collegiate journey so far and reminisced on all that he had accomplished.

“It is kind of difficult, but I’m on a journey,” Scott said. “I’m on a mission.”