Note: The article below is courtesy of the Birmingham News/AL.com dated February 12.
By Doug Grabarczyk
CENTER POINT, Ala. (2/14/13) - It didn't take long for Brandon Peterson to make an impact at Arkansas State.
The former Erwin standout quickly worked his way first into the Red Wolves’ rotation as a freshman. He was starting at forward for the Red Wolves halfway through that year.
Peterson, now a senior, has put his name into the school’s record book.
Peterson scored his 1,000th point earlier this season. Then he pulled down his 800th career rebound on Saturday night. That made him just the sixth player in Arkansas State history to record 1,000 points and 800 rebounds.
“I’m just trying to do everything I can to help the team and whatever coach tells me to do just try to do it,” Peterson told AL.com in a telephone interview.
He is also currently third all-time in blocked shots with 151. Not bad for a skinny kid out of Erwin a few years before it became Center Point High.
“He was a great signee for us,” Red Wolves coach John Brady said in a telephone interview. “After his 13th or 14th game his freshman year he was in the starting lineup and has never come out. He’s just been a very good player for us. He’s been fun to coach and he’s had a great career.
“I’d do it all over again if I had the chance.”
The Red Wolves are currently second in the Sun Belt’s West Division with a 9-6 record and 15-9 overall.
Peterson, who graduated high school in 2009, was a Class 5A first-team all-state selection. He led Erwin to a 24-8 record his senior year. He was also part of the Erwin team that advanced to the Final 48 in Class 5A in 2007.
“Brandon was the glue in terms of everybody getting on board with their third coach in three years,” said Center Point coach Rodney Chatman, who inherited Peterson in his first year at the school.
Peterson was an athletic wing for the Eagles, but Chatman knew that as Peterson got taller, his skills would have to change.
“We really worked to hone in on his post moves to add to his guard skills in getting him ready for what we knew he was expected to play in college,” Chatman said.
Peterson narrowed his college choices to the Red Wolves and Murray State, but saw something in Jonesboro that made all the difference.
“I just felt like I had a chance to come to Arkansas State and play right away, which I did,” Peterson said. “I didn’t want to go to Murray State and sit out and wait until my junior year to get some significant playing time. I just wanted to go somewhere where I could play right away and get better and have a great career.
“It was exactly the right move for me. I’ve been starting since my freshman year, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I’ve had a pretty good career here so far and now I’m just trying to finish up strong.”
Peterson, now at 6-foot-8 and 217 pounds, is averaging 10.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this year. He’s posted eight double-doubles. He was named to the Sun Belt’s all-conference third team as a junior after averaging 9.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He was named to the preseason all-Sun Belt squad at a second team spot.
“I think he’s just an all-around great basketball player,” Brady said. “He can score it, he can rebound it, he defends well, he’s got a high basketball IQ, and he’s coachable. And the thing that separates him is he’s competitive. He comes to work every day, he doesn’t take practices off.
“The talent that he has along with his competitiveness had made him a very good basketball player here.”