As the Suitland High School boys basketball season neared its end, Roddy Peters was calm.
He always is.The rising senior has played in enough big games to keep his composure even when the opponent makes a run or his team isn't getting calls, both of which he said happened in the Rams' 4A South Region final loss to Eleanor Roosevelt last March. But as so much went wrong around him, Peters scored 29 points and nearly stole the victory for Suitland.
Looking back, he says he should have done more to help his teammates.
“I never really was a leader,” Peters said. “I always wanted to just do my own thing.”
This summer, Peters is trying to change that. It's one side of a two-part plan: playing for college, thinking for high school.
“I'm not really playing for high school no more,” Peters said. “This is my last year really developing for college.”
That means taking more jump shots instead of attacking the rim all the time. Although Peters typically finishes those drives with a basket now, the centers and power forwards patrolling the lane at the next level will be much bigger.
Peters (6-foot-3) has received offers from Xavier, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, UMass, St. Joseph's, Cincinnati and Rutgers. In addition, Maryland, Georgetown, Texas, Memphis, Tennessee and Illinois — or as Peters puts it, “everybody, really” — have shown interest.
“He's a better player than he was in March when played for us,” Suitland coach George McClure said. “He's still getting better. If he adds the leadership piece, that'd be a good thing.”
Peters — an All-Gazette first teamer who averaged 23 points, 5.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game in 2011-12 — wasn't even a captain last season.
“He really didn't want it,” McClure said. “So, it wasn't a big deal.”
Though, McClure said he's not rushing Peters to become a better leader, he's adding a bit more to Peters' plate this summer. Sometimes, McClure has Peters call timeouts, talk in huddles or text the team about practice times.
“The kids are going to look to him as a leader, whether he wants to or not,” McClure said. “So, Roddy's going to lead us. He knows it. He's been around this game enough to know that, seeing the accolades that he's getting, he's going to have to step up.”
Thanks to a little push from McClure, Peters said he's getting more comfortable in the role he once dreaded.
“Now, I kind of talk too much,” Peters said. “My coach kind of tells me sometimes he's got it.”