FORREST CITY, Arkansas — Timothy Pendleton was asked recently how often does he works out and spends time upgrading his mechanics and fundamentals.
“I work out every day after school and on weekdays,” the Forrest City (Ark.) High freshman athlete said.
Aside from his immense workout and conditioning sessions, it doesn’t take much to get Pendleton to talk about his love for basketball, alone his lofty ambitions for why he plays.
Said Pendleton when asked about to reveal his strengths: “I can get to the basket with ease and finish the shot.”
Said Pendleton when asked to assess his weaknesses: “My biggest weakness is thinking too much when I get the ball.”
Said Pendleton when asked how he will spend his offseason: “I will be in the gym as much as possible working on my skills and playing against tough competition.”
By and large, squaring off against stiff competition is nothing new to the 6-foot, 15-year-old Pendleton who, to his credit, wasted little time making his presence felt.
In quickly finding his niche for the Mustangs, Pendleton provided masterful contributions, particularly from an offensive standpoint.
He averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds per game for Forrest City coach Chris Williams’ ninth-grade team, and spent a major of his freshman campaign having played multiple positions.
Truth be told, for a newcomer who appeared destined to make a favorable impression on his coaches and teammates, Pendleton would be the first tell you that his primary focus was to get in where he fit it.
Fortunately for him, he managed to fit in superbly while preparing to play varsity ball nextseason.
“Timothy has been playing ball ever since he could walk,” said Teisha Lee, Pendleton’s mother. “His grandfather was a ball player and city league coach; his uncles and aunt were also ball players. He couldn’t get away from it. I am a proud mama. I look at basketball as a mean to help further his education so he can get his degree and be a productive, young, black man.”
Interesting enough, attending her son’s game is adventure, of sorts, for Lee.
“When I watch Timothy play, that proud and loud mother comes out,” Lee explained. “Everyone knows who I am. I am the loudest in the bleachers.”
And in what figures to be a busy offseason on the AAU circuit for Jonesboro’s JB Fireballs, coupled with regular workouts, Pendleton is clinging to hopes that his progress on the court will ring loud and clear before college scouts and recruiters.
“It’s been my dream since I was little (to play college basketball) and I just have a great passion for the game,” said Pendleton, who is scheduled to attend the Future 150 Underclassmen Camp in Antioch, Tennessee in June. “I’d love to do what I love in college.”
If he keeps at this dazzling pace, chances are his long-awaited dream will become a reality.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.