2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
Talking to Brad Beal, there always seems to be one theme that keeps coming up. It is routed in almost every answer he gives " whether he is speaking about his practice habits, his academics, or his college recruitment. If there is one - and only one - thi

Brad Beal Finding A Perfect Balance

June 6, 2009 - Colorado Springs, Colo.

Talking to Brad Beal, there always seems to be one theme that keeps coming up. It is routed in almost every answer he gives " whether he is speaking about his practice habits, his academics, or his college recruitment. If there is one - and only one - thing you can come to expect from Beal, it's that he is going to work hard in every aspect of his life.

Beal doesn't have the typical demeanor you would expect from a 15-year-old who just led his high school team to the Missouri Class 5 state title. He is soft-spoken, humble and well aware of the opportunity that has been presented to him as a member of the inaugural USA Men's Developmental National Team. Beal is one of just 19 players from across the country selected to the team, and you get the feeling he has big plans as this team moves forward from training camp, is eventually trimmed to 12 members and goes on to compete in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina from June 17-21.

-I felt amazing when I found out I was selected to this team," said Beal. -I felt really special because only the top kids in the country that are really good get invited to this, so I'm just really honored. I just want to work hard because I know the coaches are going to try and push us so we can go down (to Argentina) and win."

Beal's hard work has paid off thus far. He increased his scoring from 9.0 ppg. as a freshman to 23.5 ppg. as a sophomore to go along with 5.1 rpg., 3.2 apg., 2.1 spg. and 2.1 bpg. He shot an impressive 51.3 percent from the field and was named by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association to the 2009 Boys Class 5 All-State first team. His best scoring output of the year came in a game in which he tallied 52 points, but perhaps his most important night was when he scored 30 points in the state championship game. You often hear players speak of being in a zone where they feel like they can make every shot, and Beal said he knows that feeling.

-It feels good (having a night like that) because I just don't let anything distract me " not the crowd or the players on the court talking. I just play my game the way I know how," said Beal.

Although it's nearly impossible to have such scoring outbursts every time you play, Beal goes back to that common theme when speaking of an off night.

-I try to have that feeling every game " like I am going to come out playing really good," said Beal. -But if I don't start off good at the beginning than I just have to continue to work through it."

Beal is not just a great basketball player, however. He plays wide receiver and cornerback for his high school football team, and says he has had many people tell him he could be just as good or better at football than he is at basketball. He also has two older brothers, Brandon and Bruce, who played college football. While Beal is focusing on basketball right now, he has learned a lot from playing football that has helped with his basketball game.

-I have learned toughness and confidence mostly, as well as working hard and playing hard," said Beal. -The training helps too."

He also takes his academics very seriously, having been named to the honor roll in school the past three years. Getting his college degree is a major priority for Beal, and he understands the correlation between being a good student and a good athlete.

-I put school before anything, because the more I excel in the classroom the more I'm going to excel on the basketball floor, and that's the way I have always seen things," said Beal.

That mindset will serve him well as college coaches begin to take notice of his game and the recruiting process picks up. This week, however, Beal is focused purely on the USA Basketball Developmental National Team.
 
-The more you slack, the lazier you get and you don't get any better," said Beal. -The only way you get better is by working hard, so that is what I am trying to come here and do."