(News4usonline) – Zyier Beverly arrived on the campus of Washington Preparatory High School with very little experience playing organized basketball. He played the game, but football was his first love.
Now in his third year of playing ball at the high school level, Beverly has accepted a basketball scholarship to attend Tennessee State University.
For Beverly, having the opportunity to attend college has been a long time coming. Being handed a scholarship is even more special. Beverly’s mother, Shikema West, set about her son’s pathway to college by grooming him on the football field early in his young life.
West sent Beverly to the football field because he had a “lot of energy” as a little kid which ultimately led him to fight with other kids.
“I had to find somewhere for him to run off the negative energy,” West remarked.
Football didn’t equate with what Beverly wanted to do. However, West’s decision to find sports as an outlet for her son has proven to be brilliant. A single mother at age 15, West looked to her own mother and sisters for major support.
The group proved that indeed it takes a village to raise up a child and denounced the notion that good boys can’t be guided with proper life instructions. Beverly is at the top of the food chain in his family. He has siblings who also may be considered to have college potential.
Beverly has another brother who is considered in basketball circles to be even better than he is. That’s a prime example of the fruit not falling too far from the tree. West, however, wants Beverly to set a good example for his four siblings (three brothers and one sister).
Like many kids his age who play basketball, Beverly has an eye toward the NBA as a ticket to support his future. However, he understands the effort and commitment it takes to achieve such a long-term goal. That starts with getting an education.
According to Beverly, his mindset is about school first and everything else will follow. Hitting the books is priority No. 1.
“School,” Beverly says, “plays a major role in all his decisions over the course of the next four years.”
Beverly said he aims to be a role model to his peers in his community and Washington High School. In the meantime, it’s time to ball.
As a basketball team, the Washington High School Prep has seen its season go up and down. To date, the biggest win the Generals have recorded this season is without question an 82-81 upset win against Coliseum League rival and prep basketball power Crenshaw in early January. Beverly scored 23 points in the win.
The Cougars walked into the Generals gymnasium as the best team in the city and came away with a stingy defeat on their hands. Beverly credits his teammates and coaches for the win.
“We just played up,” Beverly said.
Beverly went on to add that he feels like the Generals can be really good if they “play and stay together” throughout the season.
Beverly’s coach, Jovante King feels like his star’s potential doesn’t match his effort.
“The kid is as athletic as they come but on the next level everybody is athletic,” King said. “Zyier’s mental toughness has to emerge at some point.”
King has been at Washington Prep for a decade. He has seen players dream big but lose ground because of a lack of effort.
“They want to be great, but they won’t put in the work daily to get there,” King said.
Washington Prep will travel to play Crenshaw on Feb. 1 in a rematch. Beverly has high plans to be on that bus with the same teammates and coaches, whether they play up or down.
Either way, West is planning to be there to support her son as she always has since he was a little energetic kid fighting for whatever he wanted.
Ron Jenkins is a Los Angeles, California native. Ron used sports to escape the loss of his four brothers. Jenkins served in law enforcement for 30 years. He has a commitment to the community and working with young people. In 1987, Jenkins was the fourth leading receiver in the nation while attending school at Fresno State University. Jenkins uses journalism to inspire and uplift his community.