It's the same feeling when watching Myles Purchase during a basketball game. The 2020 Class 5A football player of the year looks right at home on the hardwood.
Together, they're on a journey to make sure each one has a state title in their respective sport. They're halfway there after Creek beat Valor Christian for the 5A football title. With a 84-72 win over Smoky Hill on Friday, they're another day closer to making the dream a reality.
"We both knew that this year that we’d have a good chance of winning in both sports," Hammond said. “Both of us want to go out winning a football and basketball title and preferably do it without losing a game in either sport.”When the school year is over, both Hammond and Purchase will begin new journeys at their college of choice. Purchase will stick with football as he heads to Iowa State and Hammond will travel just up Highway 36 to continue his hoops career as he'll play basketball at the University of Colorado for Tad Boyle.
Purchase had signed early and if he had wanted to, could’ve left for Iowa for the spring semester. But he and Hammond have been battling together since they were kids and he wasn’t about to leave his buddy behind.
“I feel like we’re a real special team,” Purchase said. “I feel like we can do something special and I wanted to stay and help my team win another ring.”
It helps that the Bruins are stacked with Divison I athletes on the basketball. Chase Penry is heading to CU to play football and Arden Smith will play football at Missouri.
Instead of leaving Creek behind at the winter break, they all wanted to be back on the basketball court to do something special.
“We have several kids that could’ve done that,” Cherry Creek coach Kent Dertinger said. “Chase Penry could’ve done that, Arden Walker could’ve done that. The fact that they wanted to stay and play basketball says a lot about them.”
Currently the Bruins hold the No. 1 spot in the CHSAANow.com 5A basketball rankings. And they have yet to lose a game.
In Friday’s win over Smoky Hill, Hammond led the Bruins with 24 points. Purchase added 16 and two other players are scored in double figures.
The regular season is set to wind down next week and then the next championship quest will begin for Hammond, Purchae and the rest of the Bruins.
They’re good about taking it one game at a time, but they can’t help but think about how much of an impact a basketball would have for Creek.
“It’s definitely going to add on to our legacy if we end up getting it done,” Purchase said. “I’m just trying to cherish these last few moments with my team.”
And then the legacy will be passed down to their little brothers. Blake Purchase and Christian Hammond are both sophomores and will look to build on what the big brothers built in their time at Cherry Creek.GREENWOOD VILLAGE — When watching Julian Hammond III on the football field, it wouldn't be a stretch to think he could earn his college education on the gridiron.