They always say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish; a recognizable statement and one that’s speaking truth to a young man named Triston Price from Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, MD.
Price is in the midst of a life transformation even the toughest of individuals would respect.
A troubled point guard who has been a starter on the varsity team since his sophomore year, Price was having an All-State senior year as both a player and a person, prior to tearing his MCL in the middle of the season. Averaging 25ppg and completing his second straight 4.0 report card, Price is almost unrecognizable from who he was even from a few months ago.
Price and his Seneca Valley teammates are in their 3rd year of Lead ‘Em Up. Lead ‘Em Up founder Adam Bradley has been taking the Screaming Eagles through the program the last 3-years and recently sat down to catch up with Tristan to talk about his journey.
AB – My man… there’s a lot of talk about how things are changing for you… would you agree?
TP – (laughs) – yeah, you could say that.
AB – Lets go back a bit, be honest, how many times did you get in “trouble” the first 3-years of high school?
TP – I can’t even tell you, to be honest… it was A LOT. Kicked out of class, talking back to teachers, suspensions, after-school stuff… all of it. I really can’t even tell you.
AB – What was going on? You know how it was. It had become a normal thing to see emails going around from the administration about you and how you did this or that, or showing up to practice on numerous occasions where you weren’t practicing because one thing or another.
TP – Honestly, I was confused & mad about so many things outside of school so when I came to school I wasn’t focused and didn’t even care. I was more focused on what I had to do and deal with after these 7-hours of school was done.
AB – so you sit here today, mid-way through your senior season and you just received your second straight 4.0gpa, you’re the captain of this team (unanimously voted), when did things start changing for you? Was it gradual or was it something specific that made you change?
TP – I’d say it was over a span of a month, this past July. One of my guys was killed and that was just a few months after another one of my other guys was shot-up and it took me back to what Drew (a teammate of Tristan’s who passed away during the summer of 16’) told me… it was in the Lead ‘Em Up Speed Mentoring session actualy, he shared about not procrastinating. I didn’t even know what procrastinate meant but for some reason it hit me. I asked him after what it meant and he said “don’t say you’re going to do something and not do it, don’t just wait.” So I remember a few days after my guy who was shot passed away, we were all in pain and my guys were coming up to me and just saying, “stick to basketball, it’s your ticket man.” My parents coming to me and saying “stick to basketball and your grades are needed to be able to stick to basketball”
After July, that’s when I was up everyday at 6AM, running 3-miles and doing what I needed. I couldn’t keep waiting. Can’t procrastinate.
AB – Was it tough to transition?
TP – Yeah, for sure.
AB – What’s been the hardest thing for you as you’ve tried to transition?
TP – Being by myself. Not being outside as much, talking different, dressing different.
AB – Have you been clowned by your guys for trying to change?
TP – Not really, it’s still me.
AB – Come on now… sure you’re still you, but you’re changing and I’m sure you don’t ‘kick it at the same level’ as you once did.
TP – (laughs) – yeah, I hear ya… you right. I think it’s more of the fact that I have always been the “little bro” to them and they know how I am and that I’ve always done what I wanted to do. I’ve done this on my own, they know I’m trying to put on for my family and they’re my family too. When it was time to focus and put all of that aside, they told me they weren’t going anywhere. So it’s been good.
AB – lets talk about Lead ‘Em Up for a moment, I recognize it only plays a small part, one day a week, but at this point, you’ve been going through Lead ‘Em Up for 3-seasons, talk on the impact the program has had on you?
TP – I’m going to keep it real with you, I remember when we started doing it and us thinking; what is this bama’ going to talk to us about. But I’m not going to lie, there hasn’t been one session where there wasn’t a point to it and we didn’t get something out of it, I can honestly say that.
I mean… (pause)… you gave me your number. You were texting me every day to see if I made my bed, something as simple as making my bed, and you didn’t even know, it’s the thing that was helping me to show up for school on time. This program made me check myself and… (pause) and it got me to realize I could be up there, that I could be doing good but I was to stuck on what was fun to me, not what should matter to me. Having the program every week, it was good, it was something new, and things were being said in ways I had never heard it before. It’s why I got so much respect for what you’re doing.
AB – no doubt, you know I appreciate that so much. It’s been fun to do this with you. I’ll keep it real with you though, the first year, I thought you hated it. Each week I would always think, “is this dude getting anything out of this program?”
TP – (laughs) – it was hitting me.
AB – its been good to see you with your guys everyday despite being out for the season.
TP – these are my brothers. I want to be there and help them as much as possible.
AB – I’m proud of you TP. Keep up the great work and thanks for willing to share your story.
Two of the individuals most impressed with Price have been his coach and athletic director.
“Triston is a wonderful young man. Coming in as a freshman he was very talented and we knew he had a bright future. We however were not sure of the young man he would become. The last two seasons, especially this one, his senior year, Triston has shown great leadership ability both on and off of the court. Prior to his injury, it was evident that he would do all that he could to ensure that his team was successful. Even when they were out matched, he appeared to almost will the team to victory. He is always the hardest working person on the court and that same type of work ethic is just as evident off of it. He is the unquestionable leader of this team in all circumstances. He has performed phenomenally academically off the court, even while over coming the psychological effects of being injured and missing a large part of his Senior year. Over the years I have seen many student athletes shut down after an injury… Triston did the exact opposite… He took this as a way to show those around him how to deal with adversity and be a leader. Though he is unable to contribute on the court, he has become another coach on the bench. The rest of the team values what he says and his passion and desire rubs off. He has matured into a wonderful young man. Who has not allowed on court and off the court obstacles slow him down. I am very excited to see what the future holds for him.” Jesse Irvin – Seneca Valley High School Athletic Director
“I have had the pleasure of coaching Triston Price for the past four seasons. Our staff was hired the summer before Triston’s freshman year, and thank goodness we were. Triston’s basketball accomplishments in high school are plentiful. These accomplishments include being a four-year varsity player (three-year starter), averaging over 25 ppg his senior season, and being the playoff hero in the closing minute of back to back regional final victories his sophomore and junior seasons. However, it is not simply his athletic accomplishments which resonate with me. The amount that Triston has grown as a person is his most impressive feat. More importantly, the intentional nature in which he has worked to improve himself is his greatest attribute. I believe the highest compliment I can give a player is to trust them. I trust Triston, both on and off the floor. It is hard to believe we only have a few more games together as player and coach, but I am thankful for each and every one of them. Even if he is unable to make it back from his knee injury for playoffs, and we have already had competed together for the last time as player and coach, it will not change how I feel about him. Simply put, I love him and I am proud of him.” Brian Humphrey – Seneca Valley Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
Check out the highlights of Price’s Senior year prior to his injury, by clicking here.
P.S. at the time of this release, Triston was just cleared to play and hopes to get some minutes during senior night this upcoming Friday night.
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