Only in the 8th grade, Brayon Freeman is a name to remember in the class of 2021. Freeman earned the Adidas Select Player of the Game honors after his 20-point performance in the loss to the Boston Bobcats at the Adidas Select Series League. His AAU team “New World” finished in second place with a 3-1 record in the 8th grade James Harden bracket.
“We had a good weekend and played as a team,” Freeman said. “We played together and the ball was in my hands a lot so I tried my best to just capitalize on the opportunity. My teammates was finding me and I was hitting shots no matter who was in front of me It was going to get nasty.”
Freeman attends Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C., and is receiving much attention. He is one of the smoothest guards you will ever see play in his class. At 5-foot-11, he can break down his defender, and get to rim being as he is one of the bigger guards on the court.
Out of all the games, he played at the Adidas select series league in Pennsylvania this past weekend, his true talent was displayed and shown to many people against the Boston Bobcats.
“I feel as though I played every game down there my best but I was just feeling it this game,” Freeman said.
He had solid performances against the 6th Man Warriors, Team Final and New York Rens.
“Our goal was to finish 4-0, but it just shows we have some more work to do,” Freeman said.
After Freeman finishes his 8th grade year at Alice Deal Middle School, he will be on his way to play and get an education at the high school level. Not knowing what school he will be going to yet, Freeman says he is definitely interested in playing at a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference school.
Freeman has been big in many games he has played in and has received many honors like PYBL All-League guard, being called DMV’s top point guard in his class, and leading Southern Maryland to its first PYBL Championship in 2016.
“I definitely appreciate all the attention I’m receiving as of right now, but it only makes me work harder,” Freeman said. “I don’t want to be known as the kid who had it and then ended up losing it all because I didn’t want to work hard. No matter what level of basketball you are at, even the greatest put in work and their known worldwide.”
The high school game is a lot different from middle school and AAU basketball especially in the WCAC, where he probably will end up. The game is a lot faster, guards are bigger and stronger.
He has a chance to play against some of to play with or against some of the top guards next year like Xavier Johnson (Bishop O’Connell), Justin Moore (DeMatha), and Johnathan McGriff (Bishop McNamara).
“The main thing I need to improve on going into high school is my pull-up jumper,” Freeman said “I know guys can’t get all the way to the rim easily in middle school, so I have to develop that especially with how big other teams are in high school.”
Freeman’s mom Erika Freeman said it is still hard to tell how far he can go, and that Brayon works hard and makes progress every day.
Freeman’s parents actually own a basketball gym in Forestville, Maryland called “No Ball Unlimited” that Brayon goes to train almost every day.
“We are very proud of how he has been able to balance a rigorous training schedule with his studies,” Erika Freeman said. “We own a basketball training facility in Forestville and long hours force him to study, eat, and train there almost daily. He knows that school comes first and without good grades he will not play, his love for the game of basketball keeps him focused in school and on the court. I hope this transition for him next year will be smooth, he knows how difficult it can be for most students to adjust academically and balance everything your first year. I hope basketball will keep him focused on what is important and that of course is academics. I believe that the more a kid is involved in structured activities the less likely they are to fall off track academically. I’m proud to see the hard work he puts in to pay off.”
Freeman averaged nearly 18 points per game at the Adidas select series. Head Coach Raymond Hawkins described Freeman’s performances as phenomenal.
“Brayon had an exceptional tournament,” Hawkins said. “He put points on the board for us and put pressure on the defense. It’s a treat coaching him and that’s coming from me and the rest of my coaching staff, he has been a blessing in the skies and is a huge catalyst on this team.”
Hawkins loves coaching this talent group of young 8th graders, he thinks this experience for him is unbelievable.
“Yeah it’s just unbelievable,” Hawkins said. “I have been able to coach to the best of my ability which is a passion of mine as well to give back to the youth in the community. Not a lot of people are able to do that.”