This is the first of a two-part series on Tremont Waters, a 14-year-old basketball star at Greens Farm Academy. Look for Part 2 on Thursday.
WESTPORT, Conn. Spectators at Greens Farms Academy varsity basketball games have noticed Tremont Waters , a baby-faced point guard, racking up points for the Dragons. What they might not know is Tremont is only a seventh-grader. What they also might not know is that, until recently, his life was in danger.
Tremont, who turned 14 on Tuesday, has been labeled a basketball prodigy by Greens Farms head coach Doug Scott. My parents said I could dribble by the time I was 1, Tremont said. I fell and broke my arm trying to play when I was little. Ive been playing ever since.
But Tremont came dangerously close to being pulled into the world of gang violence. At age 12, he was threatened with a gun in school and given an ultimatum: join a gang or get shot. Growing up in New Haven, the city with the fourth-highest violent crime to population ratio , according to the FBI, Tremont knew the gang members were serious.
He found the courage to do what few kids do he told his parents. Tremonts father, Ed, took action to save his son.
We immediately wanted to look into some private schools so he could focus on his academics and get him out of that environment, Ed Waters said. We were looking at both St. Lukes in New Canaan and Greens Farms. Thats when we got a call from Doug Scott.
In addition to being head coach of the Dragons, Scott is also a board member of the Fairfield County Youth Basketball League. He has seen hundreds of area youth players and word of Tremonts talent came to him quickly.
It was pretty much just a telephone relay that fell in my lap. I told [Greens Farms] about him a good kid from a tough neighborhood and that we should give it a try, Scott said. We love him as a basketball player, but we love him even more as a human being.
Check back Thursday for Part 2 on how Tremont Waters has impacted the Greens Farms Academy boys basketball team.
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