For athlete of the month Braeden Blackmore, the love for the game of basketball didn’t materialize right away. He’s been playing the game since the fourth grade, but it took a few motivating coaches to help him develop the enjoyment he now has for the game. “As time went on and I began being coached by Nathan Williams and also Ryan Mai, I developed a love for basketball, which I play all year long on different teams and am coached by multiple coaches,” he said.
The Bonners Ferry freshman not only plays for the high school team but on traveling teams throughout the year, which include players from Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. This exposes Braeden to another level of competition as well as different coaching styles and techniques. He’s tried other sports, but his sole focus is now on continuing to improve his basketball skills and leave his mark on Badger athletics. “Joining the high school team this year as a freshman was a big adjustment because of changing coaches as well as teammates,” he said.
While the season has had its ups and downs for both Braeden and his teammates, he is proud of the progress that is being made. “We are starting to get a rhythm and learn to work as a team,” he said. Braeden can use this season’s experiences to help him become an even better player, teammate and leader as he continues his high school career.
From not even enjoying the game initially to making it a centerpiece to his life, Braeden hopes to continue to improve his game enough to play college ball, something he says would be a dream come true. Right now Braeden is focused on competing hard through the end of the season at hand and won’t have much of a break before spring and summer ball begins. He says having his coaches remind him to be positive and work hard is the motivation he needs to keep improving on the court.