You never know when TJ Christopher is going to soar through the lanes but, when it doubt, it’s best to move out of the way. The guard for the Mill Creek High School boys’ basketball team knows how to light up the stands as his emphatic one-hand jams have been a favorite among viewers.
“Whenever we get a dunk, it gets the momentum [going]. Even we get an and-one [from a] three, it’s such a momentum starter,” said Christopher.
The Hawks are currently 8-3 on the year but Christopher is not jumping for joy over their eight wins.
“[Our] goal was [to go] undefeated. Last year when I was on the team, we went 12-0 before we had a loss. We had a dumb loss. I was expecting more,” said Christopher.
Peachtree Ridge High School came into the Hawks territory with some anger left over from its loss to Collins Hill High School. Mill Creek may have been the host but it felt like they were playing in the Lions’ den.
“We lost by 30 and we should have never lost by 30. We have lost to them ever since this program has started. Everybody hates losing to them,” said Christopher. “We [kept] turning the ball over. Nobody was awake. We were just going with flow.”
One of the Hawks’ eight wins came over Collins Hill. In the final seconds, the Hawks had to decide who was going to be the hero of the game. The Hawks may not have expected the game to come to the wire over a team that went 7-16 last season.
“Last year, we would have taken that win and would not have thought much of it but this year, they were 4-0 in the region [before we played them] and they beat Peachtree Ridge. That was [a sign] that we could beat anybody,” Christopher said.
“I was OK with Trevon [Shaw] taking the last shot. That is the No. 1 guy I would give the ball [to] in the final seconds because he just has the confidence to make that shot,” said Christopher.
Earlier this year, Head Coach Chad Rogers said Christopher would have no choice but to step up and be a leader, and Christopher is finding those words to be very true.
“All the seniors left and it was my turn. I am starting to talk more, be more of a leader and hustle a lot more. Last year I was really lazy on the court,” said Christopher.
As for the future, Christopher says he has hopes of playing college basketball. If things work out the way he wants, he may have a chance to compete against his current teammate Elijah Bryant.
“I might be able to walk onto a team but I may wait until the end of the season to see who is trying to [recruit me],” said Christopher. When asked if he had a team in mind, he smiled and said, “Georgia SouthernUniversity.”