It’s a hot summer day, almost too hot to even think of playing basketball at Colorado Park in Brighton.
But on the concrete court is Eagle Ridge Academy’s Peyton Torres, working on his short-range game, the mid-range jump shots – all with the goal of landing in a college program inside of a year.
“My dad was the coach at the Brighton rec center,” Torres said. “He got my sister (Prairie View High School alum Kilee Torres) and I into sports. I gradually went to an indoor sport, which was basketball. I played baseball for a while. I kind of finished that. Standing in the outfield got kind of boring. I like moving more. I’m always going to be running playing basketball. There’s always active movement.
Torres is a four-year starter. His first varsity start was not planned. One of his teammates had to visit the restroom just before tipoff, and Torres got the nod.
“The best part is playing the game with people you know, building that relationship,” Torres said. “It’s a fun thing to do. You can do it anywhere, any time.”
It’s also provided some education.
“I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was, mentally,” Torres said. “Sometimes, you get into a shooting slump, but you have to persevere your way through it and do it yourself. It helps you feel a lot better about yourself.
“When I got in my first shooting slump, I was down on myself,” he continued. “My coaches, my dad, my grandpa were all like, ‘Keep shooting. Keep shooting. You’ll work your way through it.’ I worked through it. You just have to ride it out until you get back to that high level of confidence.”
Torres said one coach helped him realize potential.
“When I first realized I could play at a high level, my confidence went through the roof. I was always trying to play,” Torres said. “My sister is three years older than me, and I tried to beat all of her friends. I played with Eli Haskell, the old Brighton (High School) head coach. He’s the one who taught me to shoot a basketball. I started watching high-school kids. Every single chance, I was trying to see if I could beat them. I didn’t, but I definitely was trying to.”
Torres is a senior-to-be and an extra-coach-on-the-floor-to-be, too because of his experience in the Warriors’ program.
“I want to teach the younger guys about building something that my teammates and friends have,” Torres said. “We want to keep building that, and I tell them, ‘Even though you might not be where we are now, we want to get you to that level so that when we come back in two or three years, we’re going to be at the same point.’ I have to help them. I have to make sure that I’m doing the best for them and the team.”
Torres plays year-round.
“Basketball is definitely what I want to do,” he said. “If I need to go to that practice instead of that dance, I’m going to do that. If I miss prom because I’m playing in an out-of-state tournament, I’m going to do that. I don’t regret missing anything, but there were a couple of things like, ‘Those would have been fun to go to.’”
Torres is beginning to look at potential colleges. There aren’t any front-runners yet, and he’s not sure what he wants to do after he finishes school.
“I’ve talked to a couple of schools but nothing yet,” he said. “I’m hoping over the next couple of months, I’ll pick up some interest. My mom said God is going to guide me where I need to go. As long as I stay true to where I go and where I think God wants me to go, I’ll be satisfied.”