Armond Armstead slamming it down during his Pleasant Grove HS basketball career.
Armond stopped by a recent basketball game at Pleasant Grove to see his former team mates play their last regular season game at home. Armond was a standout on the hard wood as well. He left his mark on both the football and basketball programs at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. He's also an iconic sports figure in the community and has fans of all ages.
Armond Armstead is greeted by one of his many young fans. Anthony Fashano came to the game in hopes of meeting Armstead and his wish came true. Armstead always makes time to greet his many fans.
I had the opportunity to interview Armstead before the varsity game about his USC experience. This is what he had to say:
How's the USC student life experience been?
"I've missed my family... the classes have been challenging ... outside of that school is great!"
How does it feel to play alongside the best players in the country?
"It feels good to be able to rely on my team mates, knowing what they can do ... I trust them ...they help you out in the end"
As freshman at USC you got a considerable amount of playing time. How does it feel to compete against upper classman?
"Competition is competition ... Do what you got to do ... coming in I knew I could compete... the coaches gave me an opportunity... I had to show them what I have"
You've been very successful on the field. What do you attribute your success to?
Hard work... parents pushing me when I was young... opportunities by coaches...
Do you miss playing basketball?
You're here to watch Pleasant Grove play against Sheldon HS tonight. What do you think their chances in the playoffs?
"They are going to make State! All the way!"
The names of the 9 graduating seniors on the PG Basketball team – picture above.
The following players started the basketball program at Pleasant Grove with Armond. Armond was a sophomore and they were all freshman on the JV squad together when the school first opened its doors. They will all continue their basketball careers at the next level.
Glenn Akerland at the line for two.
Shauwn Brooks at the line for two.
Xavier Thames goes up for two surrounded by Sheldon Players.
Armond with a family member at the PG game.
A scene that will become very familiar, a very young fan - my own son Isiah, was first in line to get an autograph from Armond at a party where he verbally committed to USC.
Some of the other Schools that wanted Armond.
It's been said by many media outlets that the USC's defense is the greatest in the era of modern college football. The Trojans set the bar high when it comes to pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. Armond got a significant amount of playing time and contributed to the USC success story.
Armond Armstead put Pleasant Grove High School on the map when he was recruited by USC. For many of his former basketball team mates this was their last home game before graduation. The school celebrated this milestone by making this the "Grad Night" game. PG is losing 9 players to graduation. Not to worry, I was there for the JV teams' game as well and PG will continue to be a force next season. With an Alumni like Armond Armstead stopping by to check on the players from time to time – what an inspiration.
Armond Armstead hasn't forgotten the school where he came from, the team mates he played with and the fans of all ages that look up to him. He's loved on the grid iron now, but was a force on the hard wood as well. He's truly a class act.
(Check out his profile for a little basketball tribute to Mr. Armstead. You can watch him slam it down during his Junior Year in high school.)
Armond Armstead Dunking: