King/Drew senior Eric Peacock became a starter for the boys basketball team during his sophomore year (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Senior guard Eric Peacock was part of a transformative era in King/Drew boys’ basketball history. During his time there, he helped the Golden Eagles win a City Section Championship in 2018 and make their first Open Division appearance this past season.

As a sophomore, Peacock started playing on the JV team, but was called up to play varsity throughout the season.

“By the time the playoffs started, I was already a starter,” he said. “Being a sophomore made me be calm, know what to do, you listen to coach (Lloyd) Webster, what he said to do.”

The Golden Eagle’s championship run and their long run in the Division IV State tournament taught Peacock the game plan established during his sophomore year would help him improve.

King/Drew remained a competitive force during the 2019-2020 season and they recognized their talents during the Rose City Roundball Classic tournament.

“We played Fairfax in the championship game, we lost to them by one point,” Peacock said. “We assured ourselves that we are an open division team.”

Fairfax was ranked 20th in the state while King/Drew was 45th in California. The Golden Eagles finished third in the City Section championships and went deep into the Division II State playoffs.

After their City Section run, they practiced every day; their sessions would last up to four hours. King/Drew changed their offensive schemes and practiced them intensely.

“Our first state game we played Mater Dei Catholic of San Diego,” Peacock said. “They knew our old offense, but we ran a new offense and we just put them under the water because we were prepared.”

Doing schoolwork during the pandemic was easy for Peacock, a lot of his classwork was done on computers and he has experience using Google classroom. Learning from home also limited his distractions.

“It was good for me because I have no problem doing work online at home,” Peacock said. “I get to choose when to do my work, not being told when to do it.”

Having a court at home allowed Peacock to get shooting in during the quarantine. He would occasionally visit his cousin to lift weights to gain muscle.

Balancing academics and athletics were a skill Peacock learned gradually during his time at King/Drew. Through the years, he improved his grades and found ways to get his work done without staying up late.

“I would do work in class and at lunch, nutrition,” Peacock said. “I would try to do a lot of my work before study hall, so I get home, have time to rest.”

The Golden Eagles will also take time out to volunteer and help better the community.

“The basketball team, we volunteer at a daycare … we went there and gave bikes out to some schools around the area,” he said. “We gave them backpacks, shirts.”

Peacock will occasionally go with his cousin to do beach cleanups with Heal the Bay. He was a member of the club Hosa, where he learned about corrective exercises and did an internship at Martin Luther King Hospital during his junior year.

“That was a pretty good experience,” Peacock said. “I was in there every Thursday and I would call 30 patients … It made my speaking skills better over the phone.”