Son of Wake Forest legend looks to create his own legacy

Son of Wake Forest legend looks to create his own legacy
July 20
03:00 2017

The name Randolph Childress is synonymous with Wake Forest and the city of Winston-Salem.  His performance in the 1995 ACC championship game where he scored 37 points and hit the game winning shot lives in ACC lure forever. 

Fast forward 20 years and his son, Brandon Childress, is carving out a nitch for himself in the history books of Wake Forest.

The rising sophomore guard averaged 6.6 points and 2.2 assists per game last year in his freshman campaign.  He is a tough and scrappy guard that can light it up from three but can also take it to the basket when needed.  He is a tough defensive player who saves his best games for the toughest opponents.

Childress was born in Detroit after his father was drafted by the Pistons and then moved to Portland.  While still young, the family relocated to the Prince George’s County area of Maryland.  While there, he says, his first love was football, not basketball, as many would assume.

Around the age of 9, he decided to give basketball a try.  He says he gave the game a shot because a good friend of his was playing for a local Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team.

“When I first started playing, I was no good. I couldn’t shoot, dribble and didn’t know anything about basketball,” he said.  “The only two players I really knew at the time were Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.  I knew my father played but I didn’t really know how good he was.”

He says when he was playing, kids on his team would tell him that he would “never be as good as your dad.”  He then looked up his father and found out how much of a dynamic player he was for Wake Forest during the mid-’90s. 

“After looking him up, I thought to myself that I want to be like that,” he continued.  “The fact the other players said I couldn’t be like him fueled me and I said I have to take this more seriously.”

Brandon Childress then called his father and told him of his ambition of wanting to pursue a basketball career.  At the time, his father was playing overseas, so when he came home, most of their time together was spent working on the younger Childress’ game. 

Brandon’s game began to develop more while on the middle school level.  He says he began to watch professional and college games to learn more.  He says he started studying point guards such as Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd and Steve Nash to better his game because they were pass-first point guards.

He says even toward the end of his middle school career, people would tell him that he was not good enough to play on the top levels.  Brandon continued to work on his game and sometimes lacked the confidence to tell himself he was good enough because people always compared his game to his father’s.  Before going into high school, the Childress family moved to Winston-Salem.

His father was then hired as an assistant at Wake Forest and would tell Brandon that he was just as good as many of the players his father saw on his recruiting visits.  His father’s words along with playing AAU basketball with some of the country’s best players gave him the necessary confidence boost to show what he had on the court.

“I wasn’t as skilled as most of the guys on the team but mentally I was there, Childress said.  “I just kept working and didn’t complain.  My father and I would work out before and after school every day.”

Brandon started his high school career at East Forsyth playing for head coach Mike Muse.  He says he did not receive a lot of playing time as a freshman but learned a great deal.  He says his sophomore year he was able to showcase his talent on the court.  He says Kenneth Bates, a basketball trainer, really helped him work on his game during the summer going into his sophomore year.

“Our first game as a sophomore, I led our team in scoring against West Forsyth,” he said.  “Once I accomplished that in my first game, I thought I may have a shot at this basketball thing.  That whole season I played with a chip on my shoulder because people around the city didn’t think I could play and thought that everything was given to me because of who my father is.”

Following his sophomore year, Brandon transferred to Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point where he played with Harry Giles, a first-round pick from this year’s NBA draft.  He says he learned a lot playing under head coach Keith Gatlin.

“Playing for Keith made me realize and understand how to be a point guard,” Childress said.  “I always wanted to shoot first and score a lot but coach Keith kept telling me to pitch it ahead to someone else and let them make a play but when its your time be ready.”

Childress had some successful years as Wesleyan Academy going to the playoffs both years but just came up short of a championship his junior and senior year.  He committed to Wake during his junior year over schools like East Carolina and Providence, just to name a few.

“It was something about Wake that just told me this is the best situation for me,” he said.  “Growing up with my father not being there because he was playing overseas was another reason.  A lot of people don’t know this but my sophomore year was really the first time I saw my father on my birthday in over 12 years because he was playing overseas.”

For Childress he says it was the fact his father would be able to see him play every game was a determining factor as to why he chose Wake.  He said he wasn’t thinking about the legacy of his father at the school; he was confident in his ability to make a name for himself.  He says the speed of the game on the collegiate level took some time to adjust to but he quickly made the transition.

He says he has high expectations for himself and the team going forward.  He knows his role will increase as he will be looked upon to provide more scoring and leadership because they have such a young team.  He says the work he put in this summer will pay dividends once the season tips off.

“I think this year people will see a lot of improvement in my game because I have been working hard this summer,” he said.  “I have gotten more physically stronger and watched a lot of film to get more guys involved.  At the end of the day whether I start or not I know I will be out there on the floor contributing doing whatever the coach needs me to do.”

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors