Growing up, Duncan Schramm felt he was better at hitting a ball than shooting one.
But Schramm had a brother 18 months older and where big brothers go, little brothers usually tag along.
Schramm walked off the diamond and onto a basketball court.
“I loved baseball,” Schramm said, “and I was better at baseball than basketball in sixth grade. But my brother, Parker, and I were inseparable and when he quit baseball to play basketball I followed him.”
That decision turned out to be a good one for the Desert Vista boys basketball team.
Duncan also followed Parker into Desert Vista’s Storm Center and this season inherited his brother’s team captain role as a senior along with Lorenzo Ford.
“We knew what we had to do after last year,” Duncan said. “But it was harder for me to assume the role as a leader. Zoe (Ford) is good at getting on people and by far is the leader on this team. I lead more by example.”
It’s a good example.
Schramm leads the Thunder scoring with a little more than 12 points per game. Ford is a couple of fractions behind him.
Schramm also leads the team in rebounding with almost five boards per game.
Although he is 6-foot-4 and the biggest player on the Thunder team, he is still listed as a guard.
“I’ve always been a guard,” Schramm said. “When we were growing up, Parker was always bigger than everyone else, and I was something like 5-10 as a freshman. I played point guard up against him. When I grew, it was a blessing. How many 6-4 guys get to play guard in high school?”
However, being the tallest player on the Thunder team has its disadvantages, too.
Besides shooting, Schramm has to go inside for rebounds.
“This team isn’t very big this year so I have to play the four (spot) and sometimes it’s hard to rebound,” he said. “We play teams that have genuine big guys who are 6-6 or 6-7 and are made to play in the post.”
Schramm is being recruited by colleges as a guard.
“I’d like to play in college, but I haven’t made a decision yet,” he said. “I’d rather do it sooner than later.”
Schramm was called up to the varsity squad at the end of his sophomore season in time to sit on the bench of the Thunder’s state 5A-I championship team.
He averaged two points per game as a junior last season.
“Duncan has paid his dues,” Desert Vista coach Doug Harris said. “The true measure of a team is what kind of leadership you get from your seniors, and he has given this team everything. When he’s good, we’re good and as a combo guard he can do a number of things. Besides, he’s one of the tallest kids we have and one of the most experienced.”
Being separated from his brother for the first time in his career hasn’t diminished Schramm’s enthusiasm and leadership ability this season.
“This, by far, is the most fun team I’ve ever played on,” Schramm added. “It isn’t a fake friendship. I really love these guys, and basketball is my sport now.”