Ellison fans know senior guard Chandler Sutton for his impressive command of the game when he hits the basketball court, but at one time, he almost pursued a different sport.
“I was always into football,” Sutton said, “but my friend Amir (Davis) got me into playing basketball, and ever since then, we’ve been best friends.”
Sutton and Davis, who also plays for the Eagles, met at Patterson Middle School.
The pair had a class together in fifth grade, and the two always talked about their favorite games.
“He always liked basketball, and I liked football, so when he introduced me to basketball, I was like, ‘What’s this?’” Sutton said. “Then, I just started to have a love for it, but he really got me into playing basketball.”
In sixth grade, Sutton had to decide between the two sports. Basketball won, and he’s never looked back.
Eagles’ fans will probably agree he made the right choice.
When the Eagles faced then-No. 15 Shoemaker, the senior led Ellison with 23 points. His best friend Davis was close behind with 21.
Sutton again led Ellison against Waco on Friday, scoring another 20 points in the 77-54 victory.
His game is inspired by John Wall, the 6-foot-4-inch guard for the Washington Wizards.
“His size, his speed, his ability to get down the court and make plays for his teammates,” are just a few of the reasons Sutton looks up to the pro.
Sutton also wears No. 2 because of Wall.
“He’s my favorite point guard in the NBA,” he said, “so I always wore that number.”
Since committing to basketball in the seventh grade, Sutton played organized basketball for his school and on travel teams.
And the best parts of the game for him have little to do with playing.
“Just teamwork, having fun with my teammates and building chemistry,” he said.
Representing the Eagles, however, is also extremely special for Sutton.
“It means a lot, because we’re pretty much a powerhouse around Killeen,” he said. “We’ve had the most success in the past 20 years, and it’s really just a great honor to play for Ellison.”
Off the court, there’s one person who motivates Sutton to maintain the balance of school and basketball.
“It comes from my mom,” he said. “I know she doesn’t feel like going to work every day, but she has to pay the bills.
“So if she can do that, then the least I can do is come to school, do my job and still be able to work hard on the court.”
When he’s not playing basketball, Sutton enjoys spending time with his friends and still goes back to his first love of football, but in a different way.
“I like to play video games,” he said. “I play 'Madden' as the New Orleans Saints, because I’m from Louisiana.”