Childress appears set to focus on basketball

BALDWIN — Brandon Childress is receiving a lot of notoriety for football and basketball lately.

But it appears he’s going to focus on basketball for the 2014-15 season.

Childress, a quarterback and defensive back, was recently named to the top 15 football players to watch list for the 2014 season by MLive.

Others on the list included quarterback Tre’Von Avery of Grand Blanc, Joshuwa Holloman of Auburn Hills Avondale, Tyree Jackson of Mona Shores, Alex Malzone of Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, Jon Wassink of Grand Rapids South Christian, running backs Brian Cole II of Saginaw Heritage, John Kelly of Oak Park, Alex Grace of Saginaw Swan Valley, Martell Pettaway of St. Clair Shores South Lake, Mike Weber of Detroit Cass Tech and Khari Willis of Jackson Lumen Christi; defensive end Lawrence Gordon of Saginaw Arthur Hil, defensive back Tyrone Miller of Saline and wide receiver Kalebb Perry of Mount Pleasant.

Baldwin football coach Doug Bolles indicated that Childress, being heavily recruited by Division 1 basketball schools, has indicated to him he will not play football in order to focus on basketball for his college future.

For basketball, Childress, who has received 11 Division 1 offers, including from Big Ten member Penn State, was at the University of Michigan College Prospect Camp in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

“Childress had a great day offensively and defensively, helping him to stand out as a top player in a gym full of four- and five-star national ranked prospects,” Ira Childress, Brandon’s cousin and also a sports promoter said.

The Banks Hoop website, which covers amateur basketball in Michigan, announced that Childress was on Michigan’s upperclassmen six-man all-camp team. This is what the site said about Childress:

“The Class D torchbearer hit up Ann Arbor with a fresh haircut, and was all business. With ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Ivy offers, Childress has one of the camp’s top resumes, and backed it up. Just played with focus and purpose. He was aggressive and assertive, beating defenders from all three levels. Rebounded, defended, passed it. Athleticism, his separation and rise, will allow him to be a college wing guard at 6-3.”

Childress quarterbacked the Baldwin football team to two consecutive playoff seasons.

“I hope that changes,” Bolles said of Childress’ decision not to play football. “He told me ‘coach I’m not playing football. I’m not worried about being hurt or anything. But I need to put all my time into basketball because that’s my passion.’ I’m moving forward expecting him not to play.”

Bolles said he’s trying to look at the positive aspects of the situation. Childress’ decision at this time will allow Bolles to prepare earlier for the fall season knowing he won’t have his all-state athlete.

“You only have this kind of athlete like this once in a lifetime, but you have to move forward,” Bolles said. “I want him to play, but he’s got other things and goals. I’m happy for him.

“His goal is D-I. He doesn’t just want to go D-I, but he wants to play D-I (extensively). Basketball’s his passion. He loves football. He just doesn’t want to get there (for D-I basketball). He wants to play when he gets there. We’re moving forward. We’re planning that he’s not going to be there in hopes that he is.”

Bolles said there are other options that he’ll consider at quarterback as the season approaches. But he acknowledged that Childress’ shoes “will be tough to fill.”

Summer football will start the rest of this month, including next Monday and Wednesday with weight-lifting. Baldwin has a dead week that ends July 4. The following week, it will go Monday through Thursday the rest of the summer until official practices start in August.