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Stevens family leads Squires to Breslin

Posted at 11:02 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 23:02:00-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich -- Braden Stevens is the oldest four kids, he`s a coach`s kid.  He was born the spring before his dad, Calvin Christian head coach Ryan Stevens, began his tenure with the Squires.
"We are always talking about strategy and he can tell me a lot of things," said Ryan.   "Being a captain, he`s talking to the guys how are people feeling, what do we need to do differently, what are the kids saying, or whatever.  So, he is another coach, because he`s been around it and he`s always been in the gym, always traveled with me even when he wasn't playing here."

The elder Stevens is in his 18th year as the head coach at Calvin Christian.  He`s won 268 games, seven district titles and four regional crowns but never made it to the Breslin Center, that is, before Tuesday night`s quarterfinal win.
"My dad and I have learned how to take each other on the court," said Braden.  "Sometimes it`s hard, sometimes it`s not, but we know how to handle each other. But, to be at the Breslin now is a dream that we both have wanted to come true and like my dad has said, he`s been to the quarterfinals four times and just haven`t been able to get past that and to be past that together as a step right now is just awesome."
"Obviously you want to go," said Ryan.  "I`ve had lots of good teams and we've just missed it a couple times and we've lost to some really good teams, but obviously, it's very special having my own son and coaching my own son and having a chance to be there."
Coach says Braden is easy to coach, but the senior point guard remembers his sophomore year when his dad was the maddest at him, and it was on the court.
Braden Stevens says

"We were playing defense and my team was just getting killed and I was getting mad at him and what I didn't realize is I was the reason they were scoring, I was trying to reach and get steals," said Braden.  "In practice he kind of pulled me off to the side and just yelled at me and that was the first time he's ever done that and I took it hard at first, then I realized it.  I went back in and I started moving my feet and we ended up getting some stops. That was kind of a turning point. From there on and it`s never really happened again so I kind of learned from that point."
So father, son, the Calvin Christian basketball team and the rest of Squire Nation will make their way to East Lansing for a 1 p.m. game against unbeaten McBain on Thursday.