The Century boys basketball team (15-3) has won 11 straight games, and coach George Wunder says it's no coincidence that the streak began when point guard Brad Schuler was inserted into the starting lineup.
The junior has made an impressive transition to varsity from junior varsity, bringing strong defense, court savvy and fierce competitiveness that has been infectious. He's averaging three points, two assists, two rebounds and a steal per game.
During the spring, Schuler is plays defense on the Knights' lacrosse team. He has a weighted 4.07 grade point average and is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the school's executive board.
With FBLA, Schuler recently took a state-wide accounting test, which he passed to advance to regional competition. He also was accepted into the Academy of Finance program at Westminster.
What have been the keys to success for the team this season?
I think we've jelled together really well as a team. We're not selfish. We're all good teammates to each other and kind of a family. We just pick each other up, when we're down and have good chemistry. It's got to be one goal and one team and you have to work together to reach that one goal.
What has been the biggest adjustment for you, going from junior varsity last year to starting at the point this season?
It's probably the speed of the game on varsity. You can't make little mistakes on varsity that you may be able to get away with on junior varsity. [Senior guard Deion Minor] has really helped me out with that — he's got my back, and I got his back. We're probably each other's biggest fans. It's like we're a team and we like to see each other do well, and that's a big part of it.
How have you developed leadership skills to run the point?
My Dad has coached me my whole life, so the kids have always looked up to me, being the coach's son. And being a point guard, you have to kind of be the coach on the floor. I've learned that the [responsbility] of a point guard is being the floor general, like an extension of the coach, and I try to make sure everyone is in line.
What are the team's goals the rest of the season?
We're going to be trying to win every game and take it one game at a time because we can't look over anybody on the schedule. But we're definitely trying to win a state championship — that's the ultimate goal. But you have to take it one game at a time and just try to win as many as you can.
How important is defense in the team's overall success?
Defense is a tradition here at Century, something we really hang our hat on. It's something I take pride in personally. I hate when someone beats me or scores on me. So, I go out there trying to stop their point guard or whoever I'm matched up with. As a team, we play together on defense, and really make that a point of emphasis.
How reassuring is it knowing the strong team defense will always be there?
It just lets you know that you're going to be in every game. There's never going to be a game you're going to get blown out because you're not playing good defense. They key to winning games is playing good defense, and that's what wins championships.
What do you enjoy most about basketball?
Winning! I like winning. When we lose, I get upset and try to think of what I could have done better. But you've got to be able to get past it and learn from it for the next game.
How did you get interested in business?
I started FBLA this year and the executive board, which is like our business club here. Those have really helped my education. It's probably going to help me in the future with internships and things of that nature.
What are your future plans in business?
In college, I'm looking for a business administration major, or maybe accounting. I'm looking to get into the business world. My dream job, if I could be a CFO or CEO of a major company — it will take some work.