The Corner, Featuring Isaiah Petitfrere

Feb 28, 2020

Player Name: Isaiah Petitfrere

Year in School: Junior

Sport: Football & Basketball

Name of School: Southeast High School

Brief bio/summary from coach about player:

Isaiah is a grown man. Someone who takes care of his family, leaves every ounce of sweat in his body on the floor, pushes others to go further. He can even be the most annoying in the gym..shove you, talk trash (only if he really likes you and wants to get you better). All of it is about team and improving. He has very high standards.

~Coach Jon Castaneda 

Isaiah was an instrumental piece for Southeast Men’s Basketball this season. He was a key player on both ends of floor, and his leadership helped guide the team from a 7-win season a year ago, to a 15-win season this year.

Let’s Hear From Isaiah

What has helped you develop the leadership mindset you have today?  My grandma, for sure. She has always been the main person to go through in our family with problems, and there’s a lot of us. Being able to watch her handle different situations is a blessing. She’s calm and takes emotion out of situations and the decisions that need to be made.

How do you think improving as a leader has helped you become a better athlete/player? Improving as a leader has taught me how to take care of situations and not to do things I don’t want to do. I’m better able to help my teammates and provide constructive responses.

How do you think improving as a leader has helped your team?  By improving as a leader, it’s helped our team stay together and organized. It brought us closer together and created a domino effect with us all having a leadership mentality.

Was there a moment where you recall “turning the corner” and realizing you had to take the next step as a leader? It gave me confidence to speak up more and trust that my teammates would follow my voice and lead.

What do you do differently now that you may not have done in the past as a leader? I’ve learned to put my foot down and stay in people’s ear. Instead of saying it once and leaving it alone, I remind people every day about what they can improve on. I feel more free and confident to lead others than I did before.

What did you enjoy about Lead ‘Em Up as a player? I enjoyed the activities with each exercise. We always had a great time and spent a lot of time laughing together. I also liked the fun engagement we had together as a team. I’ll always remember The Green Team lesson, especially the Damian Liliard story.

How do other’s view Isaiah’s leadership growth?

Parent or teammate statements about player’s leadership growth: Isaiah is one of the best teammates I have played with due to how he always keeps his composure and never lets his feelings take over. He never gives advice in a negative way, and he knows how to say something to where you understand it and in a motivational way. Above all, Isaiah is a great friend and brother that will consistently be the leader he’s become. –Teammate Malik Banks

Coach’s Response

Coach statement on player’s leadership growth: Isaiah’s learned how to make an impact in a room. Whether it be by voice or action, it’s difficult not to work hard beside him or disagree with what he says. Everyone knows he pushes himself to the limit, so why not you? ~Coach Jon Castaneda

How has Lead ‘Em Up has impacted your program? It has allowed young men to do something they are not usually encouraged to do, and that is share. Not just the ball, but share their thoughts and what their goals are with each other. No one can help you if they don’t know your vulnerabilities. By opening up more in conversation, it has allowed for teammates to know when it is they need to step in and pick their teammate up. They hold each other accountable as a support system. It becomes a lot more than just basketball. It’s a major contribution to on court chemistry and overall culture. ~Coach Jon Castaneda

Do you have a player worthy of being spotlighted?

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