BATON ROUGE, LA. — Percy Daniels is a senior at Madison Prep Academy who has committed to Seton Hall College. He plans to play basketball in New Jersey this fall, but the road to get where he is today has been challenging but far more inspiring.
“Everyone around Daniels was more interested in him playing basketball than he was. He just wanted to sit around and play video games with his friends,” said the Head Coach of Madison Prep boy’s basketball team Jeff Jones.
“I thought I was going to play football. I wanted to be a quarterback, but I grew a little too tall for a little football,” said Daniels.
Although Daniels, at 6’9, would be able to see far over the line of scrimmage, the center has dominated on the hardwood. He averages 18 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocks per game.
“He’s been starting since his sophomore year. He’s been the defense MVP of the district every year. MVP of the district last year as well as the defense MVP. He’s been all state for like two years in a row,” said Jones.
He’s also received offers from eight other division one programs, including Louisiana State University.
“Percy kind of wanted to get away from home,” said Jones.
“It’s not too big but it’s not small. New York is not too far. Always dreaming about being in New York so just being able to be able to do something that we talked about as a kid,” said Daniels.
Daniels has lived with Jalen Williams, his teammate who he met through Amateur Athletic Union, since he was 13-years-old.
“When we first started playing ball together the chemistry was there until one time in eighth grade he asked to come over and all the sudden he just never went home so he’s like a brother to me,” said Williams.
“They got me some basketball shoes and they made sure I got to practice. They made sure I got to school. They made sure my grades were good. They stayed on top of me with everything because I knew the potential I had at a real young age even when I didn’t see it. They definitely showed me other things that I probably wouldn’t have seen like a whole other side of life,” said Daniels.
“He’s had some tough circumstances in life. His mother passed away last year and his grandmother passed before that so his aunt raised him as well. He’s had a lot of reasons not to but he’s always found reasons to,” said Jones.
Daniels was diagnosed with Type A Hemophilia, a hereditary blood disorder where his blood doesn’t clot normally causing excessive bleeding when he has a cut, at birth. He receives weekly injections in order to combat the disorder.
“Never let it hold you back. Don’t let it be a disorder, let it motivate you really. I’ve been told a lot of times I remember a doctor told me that I probably shouldn’t play but then I had another doctor tell me I was fine and that I could definitely play so I never really let it set me back,” said Daniels.
Daniels and the Madison Prep Academy Chargers aim to win another state title this season. It would be the 8th championship in program history.