The Kirkwood Call

Hoop dreams

Damien+Loyd+doing+a+crossover+pose+with+a+basketball.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Hoop dreams

Damien Loyd doing a crossover pose with a basketball.

Damien Loyd doing a crossover pose with a basketball.

Photo courtesy of Damien Loyd.

Damien Loyd doing a crossover pose with a basketball.

Photo courtesy of Damien Loyd.

Photo courtesy of Damien Loyd.

Damien Loyd doing a crossover pose with a basketball.

Tom Mueller, features writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It was judgement day and he was an hour late. With only 30 minutes left in tryouts, he hurried into the densely packed gym full of sweaty sixth graders. Damien Loyd, now senior, knew that he would have to set himself apart from all the other boys trying for roster spots on the sixth grade Pioneer Elite basketball teams.  

“The first drill was a 1-on-1 isolation drill,” Loyd said. “I came in and scored eight times straight and made the A-team. [After that] I knew that basketball was something I wanted to pursue in high school.”

According to Amy Leatherberry, English teacher, Damien’s improvement on the court has been directly related to his growth off the court, but it has not come as a surprise.

“He has been dedicated to school and sports the last couple years,” Leatherberry said. “I don’t know if he was as clear about his goals freshman year, but his goals of playing ball at the next level have really driven him.”

Loyd has, however, faced adversity during his basketball career, largely stemming from being slightly undersized for the position of point guard. He does not consider this physical disadvantage as an excuse, using it instead as motivation to excel on the court.

“I’m 5-foot-10 and I averaged 20 plus [points per game] two years straight,” Loyd said. “I know there have been guys who were 6-foot-7 who averaged 20 plus [points per game], but [in] Kirkwood history I don’t know if anyone has done that at my size.”

Loyd averaged 20.6 points per game this year; following his junior year, where he averaged 21.1 ppg, Loyd saw the materialization of his dedication to the game of basketball when he was selected to Missouri’s Class 5 First Team All-State. This recognition fueled his desire to continue playing at the NCAA level, even though the route he has decided to take may not have been something he ever imagined.

“I had some NCAA D1 and D2 looks, but I wasn’t getting enough exposure,” Loyd said. “I played AAU and high school [basketball], but I didn’t get the exposure or looks that I felt like I should.”

I’m 5-foot-10 and I averaged 20 plus [points per game] two years straight. I know there have been guys who were 6-foot-7 who averaged 20 plus [points per game], but [in] Kirkwood history I don’t know if anyone has done that at my size.”

— Damien Loyd

Loyd will be playing at North Central Missouri College, a D2 NJCAA school that won their first ever Region XVI and District XIII titles during the 2018-19 season. Jack Kanzler, 2018 KHS graduate and former teammate of Loyd, thinks that Loyd has a chance of eventually moving past the NJCAA level, attributing it to his unmatched work ethic and talent on the court.

“I personally thought he deserved to be [at a school] larger than a junior college right out of high school, ” Kanzler said. “He was always one of the first guys [to practice] and always the last one to leave, the last one getting shots up. He has taken a path I think he can be very successful in.”

Loyd’s dedication to improving at basketball is shown by the extra time he puts into working on his craft. According to Leatherberry, this could be the reason he succeeds at the next level.  

“I park in the Chopin lot every day so I walk through the gym, and [Damien] is in there a lot on his own putting in extra time and work,” Leatherberry said. “He may not necessarily have some of the things you can’t practice, like height, and so he really has to [succeed] through hard work and drive, which I think he can do.”

About the Writer
Tom Mueller, features writer



Interests: I like playing basketball and watching the NBA and hanging out with friends. I also sometimes draw if I have the time.
Favorite quote:...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    From Longhorn to Cougar to Pioneer

  • Hoop dreams

    Podcasts

    TKC talks MLB: 2019 predictions

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    2019 Final Four preview

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    Shooting the crystal ball: NBA awards predictions

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    Revving up the rivalry

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    Land of 10,000 locks

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    Sexual misconduct in sports

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    2019 St. Louis Cardinals preview

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    How the Blues kicked the Blues

  • Hoop dreams

    Sports

    Eric McWoods: A flash from the past

Navigate Right
Kirkwood High School student newspaper
Hoop dreams