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Pushing through adversity

Claire Cox, Staff Reporter - February 13, 2013

Brandon Magee knows three things very well in life: drive, discipline and a love for Jesus.

The ambitious 6-foot-4 guard/forward was born in Pasadena, Calif., and is the youngest of three children. He moved to Washington when he was 10 years old, where he grew up in Spanaway with his father Carl and two older sisters, Latisha and Kanisha and his mother Renee, who passed away while he was in high school.

“My mom passed away when I was in high school, but she is always looking down on me now,” Magee said.

Magee identifies his mothers’ passing as a large crossroad in his life, one that could have potentially led him down a dark road.

“My mom was my everything and when she passed away it was like, ‘Wow, what’s going to happen?’” Magee said. “And I was in a lost state for a while and there were a lot of paths I could have taken, but that’s when I relied on God and put my trust in him.”

Magee’s faith remains strong, along with his admiration for his mother.

“For one, Jesus Christ is my main role model and he set the bar for that,” Magee said. “And my mom was a big role model for me and I really admire my mom, she is my heart and soul.”

Another supporter in Magee’s life is his father, Carl, who is at his son’s side in everything he does.

“My dad supports me a lot and comes to most of the games,” Magee said. “He is always sending me texts and calling me to ask how I’m doing.”

Magee first started playing basketball in sixth grade, engaging in games during recess for fun. He didn’t start taking basketball seriously until his friend approached him to be on his select team, which made Magee realize he was as good as or better than the other children.
After his stint on the select team, Magee went on to play varsity all four years for the Bethel High School Braves. At Bethel, Magee was a two-time South Puget Sound League MVP and led the SPSL in scoring, with 24 points per game as a senior.

At the end of high school, Magee was faced with a choice of which college to attend. He first enrolled at Eastern Arizona College in 2008, where he played one season. He appeared in 23 games for the Gila Monsters, averaging 6.3 points and 3 rebounds per game.

Magee returned to Washington in 2009 to play at Tacoma Community College. During his sophomore season, he averaged 16 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He earned first-team All-NWAACC West Region recognition. His best scoring output was a 27-point game against Grays Harbor.

With several colleges to choose from, Magee decided to visit to Central and was pleased with the outcome of his trip.

“When I came on my visit I got a vibe that I liked it here,” Magee said. “And the players were really cool and I just had this feeling that I wanted to come here. You’re not just here to play basketball, you’re expected to win.”

Magee is now in his senior year at Central and is majoring in information technology. He is looking forward to life after college and being successful in whatever life gives him after graduation.

“My main goal is to graduate and to be a great person in life and to be successful,” Magee said. “I think what motivates me is my love for the game and wanting to be the best, and not wanting to lose.”

Magee plans to intern in California at a hospital where he hopes to receive a job in the future.

When Magee had the choice of choosing any player, dead or alive, he simply picked one of the greatest of all time: Kobe Bryant.

“Just because of how great he is and his drive to win,” Magee said. “I want to know what it is like to play against someone that has that much drive and passion.”

Ironically, men’s basketball head coach Greg Sparling had a similar description of Magee’s work ethic. And while Magee has found success on the court, Sparling believes he is a great student and person.

“He’s one of the guys that’s there before practice and after practice working on his game,” Sparling said. “And he’s going to be one of those guys that’s going to be successful in life.

Because he has worked so hard at it, in the class room, too, and it’s really going to pay off for him.”

The undersized big man is tied for the team-lead in rebounds. The other three players he’s tied with are 6-9, 6-7 and 6-7.

Magee enjoys doing several things in the off-season, like hanging out with his friends, going to the movies, bowling, hiking and swimming. He also enjoys spending time with his two best friends, Geoff Macintosh and Jordan Coby.

When he isn’t hanging out with friends or going out on the town, Magee can probably be found shopping for shoes; he has roughly 175 pairs in his closet.

During his pregame warm-ups, Magee has a special routine he follows each and every game: untie the shoes then shooting practice in the T-shirt he came in.

Superstitions aside, Magee has some advice for the aspiring teen and college athletes out there:

“Put school first, stay on top of the work and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.” Magee said. “And if you want something, go get it.”

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