Fossil Ridge’s leading scorer on the basketball court has found that his hot hand is a matter of keeping his mind cool.
Braylyn Lovelace said that his great start to the season is due largely in part to his new approach to the game.
“Last year during the season, I’d get frustrated and down on myself. My mindset wasn’t right,” Lovelace said.
It wasn’t until the last few games of the season that Lovelace said he turned it around and had the hunger to win as much as possible.
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Although it’s early in the new season, Lovelace appears to be able to keep the proper mindset as his body does the work on the court.
“Every time I step on the floor, I want to be the best one on the floor and be the best I can be,” he said.
Entering the Keller ISD Tournament, Lovelace was averaging 16 points and seven rebounds.
Now in his senior year, Lovelace’s work in the off-season has his own coach taking notice of his work ethic and productivity.
“He is a good kid that has really improved since last year,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Zack Myers. “He works hard on his game.”
Lovelace spent the summer working out and playing in the AAU league with the Dallas Texas Elite select team.
In that time away from the high school varsity court, Lovelace said the right mindset and hard work has helped develop his confidence, which is translating to better play.
“I think I have more confidence in my shot,” he said. “I’m not hesitating and pulling up.”
Lovelace described his defense as “way better than last year. I’m thinking smarter.”
As a 6-4 shooting guard, Lovelace is still able to use his quick first step to beat his man off the dribble and get inside, drive the paint and get to the rim.
Also, ball-handling is another improved area, as Myers wants to put the ball in Lovelace’s hands more.
“It can get stressful,” Lovelace said of being relied on to bring the ball down the court in a press.
Leadership is also an area that Lovelace said Myers is pushing him to take on the role for the younger players.
“When I mess up, the younger guys look at me to see how I react. You can’t show them you’re going to quit, and you keep pushing,” he said.
But Lovelace won’t be the vocal leader for the Panthers.
“I know I’m ready to play because I start thinking and getting calm,” he said. “That’s how I know I’m game-ready. I’m quiet, but just ready to play.”
That quiet demeanor has helped Fossil Ridge maintain a focus which Lovelace feels was missing last year.
“The difference this year is that we’ve started out well and everyone is focused. It’s a tough district and we’re just ready to get started,” Lovelace said. “I’m looking forward to making it one of my best years.”