MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Most athletes play sports because they have big dreams, but sometimes dreams are sacrificed for more important things like family, and
that was the case for one former player with ambitious coaching dreams, Brandon branch.
"I started this non-profit athletic type thing called "Branching Out Athletics", and I hosted a summer camp, and once I did my summer camp, I fell in love with it."
Brandon worked his way up, starting as a manager on staff at Memphis in the Josh Pastner era. Not long after...
"I got a phone call from Matt O'Brien, one of the best coaches out there on the NAIA level. He gave me a phone call and asked me if I wanted to take an assistant grad position," said Branch.
The position Also covered housing and his master's degree tuition.
However, it was hundreds of miles away from home and his young son Jeremiah.
At the time, Brandon had a year left in the program and was just offered a raise and the team was headed to the NAIA national tournament.
Brandon called Jeremiah to celebrate.
But when Brandon called his son with the big news, he didn't get the reaction from his son he expected.
"I was like Jeremiah you hear me? I said I love you, he didn't say anything, right. And I said man I know I hear you, and he said okay, love you too and then we hung up and I said yeah I'm going home," Branch explained.
Branch soon after declined the promotion and cut his master's program short.
"Before I left he was a confident kid, when I came back he wasn't that so it took me a minute to get that back in him," said Branch.
But he did, and just as he was putting his career on hold,
he received a call from Memphis then player development coach Keelon Lawson for a job.
"He was like, hey as soon as you get in town I got this guy I want you to meet and I need you to take this job, take it," said Branch.
That guy was Memphis Day Academy founder Dr. Boyce-Canada and the job was a head coaching position.
Three successful seasons later, Branch and his son are closer than ever before.
"Right now he's a confident kid making the best grades even cooking on his own and he's in the sixth grade he's a great kid."
Following the footsteps of his father, Jeremiah just began his basketball career.