Former Baldwin athletes getting acclimated to Big Rapids basketball

BIG RAPIDS – Braeden and Brenton Childress knew their roles on the basketball team would change when they transferred to Big Rapids High School.

The brothers were two of the top players on Baldwin’s West Michigan D League championship team last season, forming an impressive trio with oldest brother Brandon, who is now a wide receiver on Central Michigan University’s football team.

But this season for the Cardinals, Braeden, a sophomore, and Brenton, a senior, have mostly come off the bench, and they are completely content with that.

 Braeden is a forward, and heading into last week’s game against Chippewa Hills, was fifth on the team in scoring at 5.6 per game. Fellow forwards Demetri Martin and Christian Hector are averaging 19.1 and 7.2 points per game, respectively.

“Coming here, I knew I was going to need to know my role,” Braeden said.  “Demetri is a really good player and Christian is good, and they both play my position, so I am just doing what I can to help the team.”

 Brenton, a guard, is averaging about two points per game, but has been bothered by an ankle injury in recent weeks.

 They both are playing fewer minutes than they did at Baldwin, but Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said they still have had a major impact during the team’s 9-1 start.

 “They fit perfectly,” Ingle, said. “They came in humble and play hard every day. Obviously they both want to start, but they fit in, they come to practice and they work hard.”

 Familiarity with several of the players also helped the duo with their transition. A few of their teammates also played with them on Big Rapids’ football team this fall.

 “Right after football season started, everybody got in the gym and we all just clicked instantly,” Braeden said. “We’re just having fun playing the game.”

Ingles said the brothers’ enthusiasm has permeated throughout the team. 

“If the kids don’t have a good time, that’s kind of on me, whether you win or lose,” Ingles said. “But this really has been an enjoyable group, and they (Braeden and Brenton) have been a big part of it.”