Photo Credit: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Former Beaverton shooting guard Ty Peacock is playing for Monterey Peninsula College next year after starring for the Beavers as an all-Metro pick this season.

Since his days as a young hooper suiting up in rec leagues around Beaverton and playing elite AAU basketball, Ty Peacock has always let the game come to him.

Patient and perceptive on the basketball court, Peacock never pushes the envelope too far. If a jumper’s open, he’ll pop it, and if the lane’s open he’ll take it. If there’s a free teammate one pass away, the former Beaver shuttles the rock out of his hands quickly to get his team a better look.

Never in a hurry, never in a rush, Peacock plays the game at his own pace. Peacock’s the kind of competitor other teammates love to have on their side because he’s an unselfish decision maker who’s capable of getting his own offense, but tends to put the needs of others before his own.

Peacock’s chosen unselfish style, however, albeit admirable didn’t lend itself to the sometimes self-seeking college basketball recruiting scene and even the normal high school hoops’ stage.

Guys who make the extra pass and possess virtuous team mentalities sometimes fall by the wayside when college coaches have eyes for high-scoring prospects, who like to fill it up rather than get others involved in the contest.

Scouts were slower to pick up on the intricacies of Peacock’s playmaking approach and potential to play at the next level, and by the end of the season the Beaver guard was still in need of a school. As a result, the Beaverton shooting guard, who garnered all-Metro honors as a senior, didn’t get the high-major collegiate offers he so desired.

Yet, showing his true colors, Peacock didn’t lose his cool when colleges didn’t initially call. He latched on with I5 Elite, an AAU travel squad based out of Portland started by former Portland Trail Blazer Ime Udoka that travels nationally to participate in recruiting tournaments. Playing against some of the nation’s top prospects from April until July, Peacock held his own, projecting a slick handle with clever passing ability and sly athleticism. As August approached and some of Peacock’s close friends began preparing to move out of their parents homes to head off to college, Monterey Peninsula College called the 6-foot-4 guard and extended an offer to join the Lobos for 2014-15.

It was the call Peacock had diligently waited for and after taking the recruiting road less traveled, he pulled the trigger quickly.

“I definitely had those moments where I was like ‘Damn, I don’t know if there’s a possibility of playing’,” said Peacock from his apartment in Monterey. “But, I put my total faith in my coaches to help me find the right school. They kind of gave me the energy and the motivation to keep playing and keep looking. I think that’s why it feels so good now, because I didn’t quit.”

“It takes a special player or person to have that patience, but also be driven to get through those tougher times when they’re might not be a whole lot of calls coming,” said I5 Elite assistant coach Chris Foss. “But, with Ty’s love for the game and having a vision for what he wanted to do, you knew something would work out for him sooner or later. It was about finding the right situation for Ty and what was best for him and his family. “

Peacock started his high school career at Southridge where he was coached by Foss on the freshmen team. Through the years, Peacock and Foss — who have known each other since Peacock was in the sixth grade participating in the Skyhawks’ youth program — stayed in touch after Peacock transferred to Beaverton until Foss, the current Grant High head coach invited Peacock to play for I5 Elite this summer. Through some of the contacts I5 Elite head coach Kumbeno Memory and Foss had fostered over the years with Huang and the Lobo coaching staff, Peacock was able to get attention of MPC and ultimately prove how much promise he possesses.

Photo Credit: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Ty Peacock didnt get the constant recruiting attention during his senior season at Beaverton, so he signed on with I5 Elite, which helped boost his collegiate stock.

“He’s really starting to come into his own,” said Foss of Peacock. “He’s always been a smart player, but I think he’s just scratching the surface of what he can do. When someone has the combination of love of the game, a high IQ and the work ethic like Ty does, I’d be silly to put a cap on his game. Without a doubt, I can see him playing at a four-year college and being able to use basketball as a vehicle to get a college degree, which would be wonderful.”

MPC sought a player with Peacock’s abilities after the Lobos’ all-conference shooting guard signed with the University of Nevada-Reno, and following a campus visit talking with the coaching staff and returning players Peacock said “it all clicked.” The Lobos produce a parallel style to that of I5 Elite with a lot of freedom and leeway to play off each other, make the right reads and share the ball in San Antonio Spurs-like fashion. Playing team ball is what Peacock’s all about, so when Lobo assistant coach Perry Huang pitched the idea, Peacock was all ears.

“I’m more of a poised player,” said Peacock. “I don’t run-and-gun or use my speed as much. I like to make the extra pass and look for the easiest bucket rather than the coolest looking one. My game fits perfectly with Monterey because they run a lot of poised plays. There’s going to be a lot of competition, so my effort has to be there. I have to fight for it every day at practice.”

MPC is a junior college that offers up to a four-year degree, but Peacock said his plan is to improve on the areas he needs tweaking in and leave the school “in a year or two” for hopefully a Division One destination.

“That’s the dream for everybody and the goal for me,” said Peacock. “At the JC level, there are guys who are more raw athletes. They’re bigger, stronger and faster. I think those are things I need to improve: lift more weights, put a little bit of muscle on me and work on my athletic abilities.”

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