by Andre Mitchell
Special to the Tri-State Defender
Whenever Kevin “Lucky” Cheatham Jr. – the starting point guard for Ridgeway Middle School – performs on the basketball court, Kevin Cheatham Sr. counts it as another sheer blessing. A devoted-yet-humble father, he cherishes each moment he gets to watch his son grow and develop.
|Ridgeway Middle School point guard Kevin “Lucky” Cheatham Jr. says his dad, Kevin Cheatham Sr., is the most influential person in his life. (Courtesy photo)|
Cheatham the father says Cheatham the son’s endearing qualities include an attitude and desire to work and improve on the court, in the classroom and at home. Now that’s a trifecta.
“One of the things my wife, Aisha, and I do to help our son be a better student-athlete and prepare for future challenges is help teach and stress the importance of time management and making good decisions,” Cheatham said.
“We tell him constantly, ‘Sacrifice is the key to getting better as a student, as a player and as a person. You must be willing to sacrifice the video games, the hanging-out with your friends, etc., in order to take care of your business.’”
Cheatham said the game plan is to instill Kevin Jr., eighth-grade Honors student, with good values and keep him preoccupied with responsibilities.
“ From the moment he gets out of bed in the morning, his time is fully occupied with constructive things to do from school, basketball, and chores at home to lying down, at night, to rest,” Cheatham said.
Does he have any major concerns about “Lucky” playing at the high school level?
“I don’t foresee any major issues other than him adjusting to the speed of the game, the strength and possibly the size of players,” said Cheatham. “But as for skill of the game and basketball IQ, I’m confident he’ll do better than I can even imagine.”
Tri-State Defender: What encouraging words can you offer for parents who have children participating in youth sports?
Kevin Cheatham Sr.: I encourage parents to never let anyone tell them what cannot be accomplished. I often tell my son to trust God and not man, because man and woman lie, but God doesn’t lie.
Also, I encourage parents to stress to their son or daughter that it takes a lot of hard work, being good at anything is not easy, although the rewards are priceless. The road to success is often a long process, rewarding, but a long process never-the-less.
I envision one day my son signing on with the Division-1 college of his choice, yet that’s just one of several goals. First, he has to graduate middle, then high school. He will, one day, soon.
Middle school prep athlete of the week
Name: Kevin “Lucky” Cheatham Jr.
Position: Point guard
Favorite subject: Math
College preference: (no particular order): Kentucky, Memphis or Duke
Tri-State Defender: What do you enjoy most about playing basketball?
Kevin “Lucky” Cheatham Jr.: Playing together with my teammates, sharing the ball and having fun learning the game and trying to win.
TSD: What do you expect to accomplish this year as a member of the team?
Lucky: I expect to do well and help my teammates play well enough to win it all, the MAM Christmas Tournament, the MIAA city and TMSAA (state) championship.
TSD: Who’s your favorite teacher?
Lucky: Dr. Gordon
TSD: Who’s the most influential person in your life?
Lucky: My dad
TSD: What do you want to become professionally for a career?
Lucky: My primary plan is to play basketball professionally in the NBA; my secondary plan is to become a sports agent.
TSD: What do you say to young guys who want to one day be in your shoes?
Lucky: Work hard in everything that you do and know that you have to take it seriously, everyday, all day!