HEART OVER HEIGHT: Bandys’ senior Quenten Maddox continues fight for collegiate basketball career

Bandys senior point guard Quenten Maddox (23) with the scoop layup against West Lincoln on December 27, 2019. (O-N-E file photo by Michelle Thompson) Bandys’ Quenten Maddox (23) breaks through the double-team of Maiden’s Jalen Robinson (0) and Amarion Craig (3) on December  19, 2019. (O-N-E file photo by Michelle Thompson)Trojans’ Quenten Maddox (23) with the runner over Newton-Conover’s Jaheim McCathern (35) on January 3, 2020. (O-N-E file photo by Michelle Thompson)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

In the words of Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa character, it’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Bandys High senior Quenten Maddox has been fighting for what he has attained his whole life and he continues to battle for his dreams. Now, it’s about getting the opportunity to play collegiate basketball.

Maddox – a 5’10” point guard – averaged 11 points, six assists and three rebounds per game in his final stint with the Trojans for the 2019-20 season.

Although his team wasn’t quite as formidable as one would hope – going 8-17 overall this past season – Maddox showed promise in his final season and the potential he could have, at times.

He said throughout his journey at Bandys there was some good but more of the bad. However, he said he loved the game so much that he blocked out all of the negativity and played his heart out in every game like it was his last.

“(My) favorite moment was playing against Maiden,” he said. “I went scoreless the (first three quarters)...but I kept my confidence finishing with 12 points and seven assists in the 4th quarter...Every moment I stepped on the court with my team, I loved it no matter the outcome. (I) love those guys; (they're) my brothers.

“But this year with the young freshman Chris Culliver, I felt like I had to set (an) example (to) be the leader, not be one of them to make sure he follows down the right path. I love that kid; he has a bright future.”

Maddox talked about where his interest in basketball came from:

“My love for the game of basketball came from my grandfather and my father,” he said. “They didn't make it to college or go pro because of their life choices, but being told that they were great players and how if they could have stayed on the right path, just maybe their lives would've been different; I wanted to be better than them. I wanted to look back and think 'I stayed on the right path and look how basketball has changed my life.'”

He grew up in an area with less promising paths in front of him – which some of his childhood friends had taken – but Maddox kept his mind poised and found solace in basketball.

“What really made basketball standout was that it kept me away from bad things growing up in Charlotte,” said Maddox. “Having young friends do things they weren’t supposed to do (was tough). Not me (though); I would separate myself and just play ball alone because I had a mindset to always stay on the right path, (and) don’t let anybody come and try and ruin what I wanted to do in my life; this is why I love this game so much.”

Maddox has also been considered ‘undersized’ all of his life, but he hasn’t let that deter him during this journey.

“My determination comes from another “undersized” point guard (in) NBA player Isaiah Thomas,” he said. “Seeing him make it to the highest level possible, I strive to work and grind to be at that position. Size has always been a factor in basketball, but I love competing against bigger guards. It makes me better (and) lets me know if I need to get stronger, quicker with my feet. I love the challenge.”

Even though his final high school game has come and gone, Maddox still hasn't received an offer to play collegiate ball. Nevertheless, he puts the blame on himself for that.

“You can say I've been overlooked most definitely, but what I live by is never make excuses because all it does is just put you into a hole,” he said. “I put myself in this situation because I didn't push myself hard enough; I settled...but being overlooked just makes me want it more to let everyone know I didn't get it easy. (That) I'm not a 5-star recruit and I (still) made it.

“This process has had its ups and downs, gaining interest from multiple Division II schools but not being offered (a scholarship). It's been tough, but I'll always push myself and work harder because my ultimate goal is to play at the highest level possible.”

Following the 2019-20 season, Maddox said he has spent most of his time training with his coach, Coach Danny.

“She's an elite trainer, and she understands the 'heart over height' mentality,'” he said. “She understands that I want to be pushed beyond my limits, and she wants what's best for me. (I) got mad love for her. (I'm) also looking forward for this summer to get some workouts in with Jeff McInnis.”

With this dedication and desire, there's no telling what lies ahead for him in the foreseeable future.