Teammates since the "Little Dribbler" days, four West Valley teammates have plans to stay together at the collegiate level. The duo of Terrell Peter and Demarcus Davis will be sharing the court at South Puget Sound Community College, while the pair of Tyriq Nance and Adrian Simon are headed to Pierce College.
South Puget Sound is located in Olympia, Washington, while the Pierce College campus is in Lakewood, Washington, less than 30 miles away. Not only are the schools located near each other, both South Puget Sound and Pierce compete in the Northwest Athletic Conference and are scheduled to square-off at least twice a year. South Puget Sound swept Pierce in two games last season.
The ability to be able to venture to a new school with a teammate, while remaining close to another pair of teammates, influenced the quartet of signees on their decision.
"It definitely made me more committed to this school knowing I have a brother with me and along with two other brothers like 30 miles away or so," said Simon at the West Valley auditorium in front of his family.
While the choice was made easier for Nance knowing he will have a teammate in Simon joining him at Pierce, his collegiate decisions started with one question; "Should I play football or basketball?"
Nance, with a lengthy 6-foot, 3-inch frame, put fear into defenders as a premiere wide receiver for West Valley football.
"Man, it was pretty tough because I had a whole bunch of people telling me I should go play for football, but I also had a few people tell me I play for basketball," Nance recollected. "So I was like, 'I don't know'. It really came down to like a coin toss."
The coin landed on basketball, where Nance and Simon will continue to be teammates after spending the last six years wearing the same team's jersey.
Peter and Davis, members of the Aurora All-Conference Team, have been plotting to remain teammates in college for quite some time.
"Me and Terrell have always wanted to play together during next level and so now here in college, we have gotten that opportunity and it was definitely a big impact for me, knowing that I can go to a college with one of my friends that I have been playing with since I was a little kid," Davis mentioned.
Peter was a leader on and off the court for the Wolfpack, who went 22-1 this season and were in position to bring Fairbanks their first boys 4A state championship since 1990 before the season was cut short. He was scheduled to visit other schools this summer, but was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding a school during a time that limits communication and campus visits with schools, Peter was happy to see his teammates and other players around the state be able to still be able to compete at the next level.
"It feels good, we all worked for this since we were young, so definitely seeing my really close friends sign is definitely like, I am proud of them, because they worked for it," said Peter. "To be able to move on to the next level with all three of them real close together is, is really huge to me."
While the pandemic continues to limit court and gym use across the state, that won't prevent these athletes from working on their game before heading to the collegiate level.
"Our coach (Andrew Green of South Puget Sound) has sent us some at home work outs and we can also go to the Ryan (Middle School) courts, a lot of people go there." said Davis.
"There is a UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) hill we can run or even the stairs up at UAF are a good workout too, so we can do those whenever we want." added Peter.
Simon, one of seven seniors in the West Valley program, had to prove himself every time he stepped on the floor. The talent on the state-bound roster helped propel him to the next level.
"I know I have always been the smaller kid on the team, so it was always a little work for me, I would always have to work extra to get my position or to get up and be playing with my teammates," said Simon. "I loved to work against them, it was good competition every day."
Nance played as an athletic forward for the Wolfpack with a second bounce that compete with any other player in the state. His growth with the West Valley program has prepared him for the collegiate level.
"There were rough times and there were good times, but I enjoyed it, I wouldn't trade it for anything." said Nance.
Davis is long, 6-1 guard who can play the passing lanes with the best of them and makes sure to put on a show with every fast break opportunity by punching in a thunderous slam. His court vision will allow him to play the point guard position, while his athleticism and defensive versatility ensures he can also play the two-guard. He was able to find motivation to play at the college level within his own family members.
"I feel like it was my freshman year (when I knew I wanted to play college basketball). Looking up to my brother and having people telling me that I could be just as good as him, that really made me want to push myself and become better than him."
Demarcus' brother, Divon Davis, was a 2018 Monroe Catholic High School Graduate who went on to sign with Mendocino College.
Peter's leadership played a large role in West Valley's success this past season. He hopes to carry those same characteristics into college.
"I am hoping to bring the same leadership to the team next year," Peter said. "Demarcus and I are both leaders, so I think we can both bring that to the team. I think this year definitely prepared us for the next level."
Peter plans to study sports medicine with goals of becoming a physical therapist, while Davis is tentatively deciding between physical therapy and physical education. Nance is looking to take care of some of his core credits before finalizing a major, while Simon will be studying business management.
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