Getting to the next level

Basketball is a major source of motivation for North High sophomore Pierre Hampton. He says it pushes him to "not to be on the streets, do drugs, or hang with the wrong people.” Basketball makes him to do well in school and work hard because "greatness is not going to be handed to you," he said. Here is a window into his relationship with the sport.

By Pierre Hampton | North High

 This is my team, the Minnesota Pressure, at the Preps Hoops Tournament at Cretin Derham High School in Saint Paul in May. My team went 3-2. We just put this team together this year, but I have known everyone on it since we were young, like fourth grade. All of them are like brothers to me, but one of them is actually my blood brother. He actually plays for the seventh grade Minnesota Pressure team, but he plays up with the high school team. A lot of people involved in the AAU program think less of our game because we just came out this year and no one really knows about us except people in our community. But we just won a championship in a tournament in Chicago, so now we have people who want to come play with us. 

This is my team, the Minnesota Pressure, at the Preps Hoops Tournament at Cretin Derham High School in Saint Paul in May. My team went 3-2. We just put this team together this year, but I have known everyone on it since we were young, like fourth grade. All of them are like brothers to me, but one of them is actually my blood brother. He actually plays for the seventh grade Minnesota Pressure team, but he plays up with the high school team. A lot of people involved in the AAU program think less of our game because we just came out this year and no one really knows about us except people in our community. But we just won a championship in a tournament in Chicago, so now we have people who want to come play with us. 

 This is me at my basketball tournament with my AAU team, the Minnesota Pressure. I am wearing a new uniform that we got from Under Armour. I took this picture because I was excited that we got new uniforms and because this was my first game back after taking a break to focus on school this spring. Before taking this picture I saw an NBA player that plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyus Jones. I went up to him, and we took some pictures, and he told me before the game to, “Give it all you got and that's how you gone get the W.” Me and my team ended up getting the W after coming back from a 20 point lead. 

This is me at my basketball tournament with my AAU team, the Minnesota Pressure. I am wearing a new uniform that we got from Under Armour. I took this picture because I was excited that we got new uniforms and because this was my first game back after taking a break to focus on school this spring. Before taking this picture I saw an NBA player that plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyus Jones. I went up to him, and we took some pictures, and he told me before the game to, “Give it all you got and that's how you gone get the W.” Me and my team ended up getting the W after coming back from a 20 point lead. 

 I practice on my own every day of the week but Fridays. That's when I play with my AAU team. This is me working out after school at North High just to get to the next level.  Greatness is not going to be handed to you. It’s up to you if you are going to put in the work to get to the next level in your future. A reason I work out after school is because I know my family wants the best for me, and I have to put in the work to get them out of the hood.

I practice on my own every day of the week but Fridays. That's when I play with my AAU team. This is me working out after school at North High just to get to the next level.  Greatness is not going to be handed to you. It’s up to you if you are going to put in the work to get to the next level in your future. A reason I work out after school is because I know my family wants the best for me, and I have to put in the work to get them out of the hood.

 This me and my brother, Andre Frazier, and mom, Ashley Burns,  at my little brother’s game after he won a championship on May 1. I love my family, and we were so happy after my brother’s win.  He looks up to me, so him seeing me playing sports and stuff is what make him do the same. He sees me not being in the streets or hanging with the wrong crowd, and he does the same thing. My mom motivates both of us to the fullest in every sport that we play. She is at every one of our games; she makes sure that we eat healthy food, and she makes sure we stay in shape. She also comes to our practices. She makes sure our grades are ok. She tells us that if our grades aren't where she wants them to be that we don't be playing. She'll take basketball away from us if our grades aren't good or if we're doing something else we're not supposed to.

This me and my brother, Andre Frazier, and mom, Ashley Burns,  at my little brother’s game after he won a championship on May 1. I love my family, and we were so happy after my brother’s win.  He looks up to me, so him seeing me playing sports and stuff is what make him do the same. He sees me not being in the streets or hanging with the wrong crowd, and he does the same thing. My mom motivates both of us to the fullest in every sport that we play. She is at every one of our games; she makes sure that we eat healthy food, and she makes sure we stay in shape. She also comes to our practices. She makes sure our grades are ok. She tells us that if our grades aren't where she wants them to be that we don't be playing. She'll take basketball away from us if our grades aren't good or if we're doing something else we're not supposed to.

 This is me and my mom on our way to the store before going to basketball practice in May. I took this picture because I want to have it for memories if anything happens to her, or she can use it if anything happens to me. My mom and I have a good relationship with each other. My mom support me in basketball because she know how you gotta work for what you want. Nothing is going to be handed to you, so she supports me by making sure I'm working on my game - both on the court and in school. She wants me to become something in life. She wants me to become what my dream is - to become an NBA player.

This is me and my mom on our way to the store before going to basketball practice in May. I took this picture because I want to have it for memories if anything happens to her, or she can use it if anything happens to me. My mom and I have a good relationship with each other. My mom support me in basketball because she know how you gotta work for what you want. Nothing is going to be handed to you, so she supports me by making sure I'm working on my game - both on the court and in school. She wants me to become something in life. She wants me to become what my dream is - to become an NBA player.

Kenzie O'Keefe