Mumford High’s DeLandon Laye started lighting up the scoreboard about the same time the light went on in his head.
“Before, I didn’t have my focus,’’ said the Mustangs’ 6-3 senior guard. “I was shooting too much and shooting too fast. Basically, I didn’t have poise on my shot.”
In correcting that flaw, the result has been noticeable. In a recent game against Northwestern, the Mustangs’ inconsistent shooting guard found his consistency to score a smooth 27 points in just two quarters, and he hasn’t looked back.
“That game showed me that he’s coming around,’’ Mumford coach Ben Kelso said of Laye, the Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week.
“The biggest thing is his stroke. He has a really nice stroke. He squares up and does just what the college coaches are looking for. He can hit off the dribble or he can catch and shoot without the dribble.
“It’s good to see a kid who all of a sudden seems to get it. I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about him. He’s become very focused on his future, both in basketball and in the classroom.”
With a 3.3 GPA last card marking, Laye dreams of playing in the NBA. He plans to go to college and study for a career as a registered nurse or a narcotics officer.
“I love playing ball, and I hope I can do that for a career,’’ he said. “But I know I’ve got to keep my grades up to get a scholarship.”
Kelso envisions Laye succeeding at the next level. “There’s no question he can play Division 2 basketball and he might have the capabilities of playing for a mid-major. He’s come such a long way.”
Laye attributes his shooting improvement to hard work and better technique.
“I straightened my feet and stopped trying to jump to the ceiling every shot,’’ he said. “All summer long, I was working on my form, keeping my feet square and rotating the ball. I shot a thousand shots. I got better.”
Laye is in his second year as a starter at Mumford, having attended a charter school before jumping into the heat of the PSL.
“The competition is a lot tougher here,’’ he said. “When I played at a charter school, they called a lot of fouls. Here, they let you play.”
The Detroit Public School League Proud Strong Learner of the Week Award is representative of the league’s top boys’ and girls’ athletic performers and is sponsored by local Detroit area McDonald’s owner-operators