PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The Section 7 Basketball Tournament tips off on June 16 and will last several days in Glendale. It’s the biggest stage for high school teams to play in front of 500-plus college coaches. Tommy Randolph, the 2A Metro West Offensive Player of the Year out of Phoenix Christian, is ready to impress.
“Tommy is a great player on the court, but he’s an even better person off the court,” said Phoenix Christian assistant basketball coach Kole Ebert. Of course, that is a coach’s dream. “His work ethic outworks everyone. Some days he’s here for 8 hours, just wanting to shoot, wanting to play, wanting to get into the gym and lift for 3 hours and do it all over again. That’s something that not many high schoolers are gonna really do.”
Randolph is willing. The 6′3″ combo guard is an incoming junior at Phoenix Christian. He averaged 22.5 points per game for the Cougars as a sophomore and has been on varsity since his freshman year.
“I just came in with the mentality that no one can guard me, just gotta go get it, work harder than everyone else and the results came,” Randolph explained.
“He just wants it,” Ebert added. “His aggressiveness, he’s on fire all the time. When you look at him in the game, you can tell he’s all in. There’s nothing that’ll stop him from doing what he wants to do.”
This month, college coaches from around the country will be able to get a look at Randolph and what he can bring to the court during the Section 7 Tournament at State Farm Stadium.
“I mean, that’s big,” explained Randolph. “That’s big for me, that’s big for PC [Phoenix Christian], that’s big for all my brothers on the team. Put ourselves out there, and it’s an opportunity to get better.” Randolph wants to play basketball as long as he can, whether that’s in the NBA or overseas, but he also would like to coach one day. “Help kids from like smaller areas where I came from and just help them get an opportunity and put themselves out there.”
“I was born over on the south side [of Phoenix], We grew up over there and then we moved out, kinda not the best area, but it was a little bit better. We moved in with some family and they just helped us, helped my mom get through,” Randolph added.
When asked what’s it like to grow up on the south side, Randolph said it’s a rough area. “Just a lot of killing, a lot of things you don’t want your kids to be around,” Randolph explained. “I feel like it’s made me a stronger person and just appreciate where I am today, just to know that my family wanted me to get out of that situation and my brothers and sisters to get out of that situation. It just helps me push it to keep it going for them.”
Randolph is just 16 years old and has been through a lot of adversity, even losing his mother. However, that has been a big motivation for him as he pursues his lifelong dreams.
“I think about it all the time, I shed tears about it, I pray about it. It just helps me keep going looking at those times and looking at where I am now,” Randolph said. Who knows where the journey will take him, but one thing is for sure, he has a gift on and off the court.
“You gotta just come and watch him,” Ebert said. “Something about when you see that kid on the floor, you just see the fire, you see the passion, there’s no really words to explain it. There’s just something special going on there.”
Tommy Randolph is in a good spot right now. He’s currently living with the Ebert family through Heart for the City. He’s a talented basketball player, but he also has the grades to back it up. “I take pride in doing well in school,” Randolph said.
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