Brandon Roy, known for being in the midst of becoming one of the NBA’s next bright young stars with the Portland Trail Blazers in the late 2000’s before injuries derailed his career, has since found success as a high school basketball coach. Roy coached at Nathan Hale, led by now-NBA prospect Michael Porter Jr, to state and national titles last year along with winning Naismith High School Coach of the Year before getting the job at Garfield.
The Bulldogs, who finished the season at a dominant 28-1, knocked off Rainier Beach 72-63 in an overtime thriller to become state champions for the first time since 2015.
Junior point guard Pierre Crockell Jr, who led the Bulldogs with 19 points, had some passionate words to describe the road the team took to become eventual champions, according to Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times:
“At the beginning of the year, we weren’t a team. Everyone wants to be The Man. We have 13 superstars on our team, but not every night is going to be your night. We came together after the third game of the season and said to win state, we have to play as a team and we did that. (Saturday) we weren’t going to take a loss for an answer.”
After the victory, Roy questioned the officiating late in the game, specifically pointing to the late-game foul to send Rainier Beach’s Tre Anderson to the line and eventually force the game into overtime action:
“I thought (the officiating) was off in the second half. The third quarter was really choppy … that last call, I didn’t think he was shooting. I wanted to get upset, but I was thinking we could still win this game.”
Roy, who attended Garfield, but failed to capture a state championship in three chances, felt that he was giving back to his alma mater what he couldn’t accomplish there as a player:
“I thought I stole one from them last year. I’m happy to go in there (school) Monday and go, ‘Here is that state championship I promised you in (1999-2002).’ ”