Senior guard Kennedy Stitt-Riley helped the King/Drew boys basketball team get a 20-16 overall record while taking AP Psychology (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Keeping your teammates focused during games can be a treacherous act. One of the most important lessons that senior King/Drew point guard Kennedy Stitt-Riley learned is the significance of motivating members of his team despite what the scoreboard says.

“Cheer them on because being negative is not gonna help the team out,” he said, “It’s only gonna make things worse.”

During his senior year, Stitt-Riley had to compete while adjusting to a new coaching staff. He also took three Advanced Placement (AP) classes, Psychology, Government, and Economics. He describes the workload as “pretty tough,” but he found ways to not let his workload overwhelm him.

“You need to be productive in both ways,” Stitt-Riley said. “Little stuff—like using a planner, writing down what you have to do at night for your homework—it helps a lot so you stay on track in both.”

AP Psychology is his favorite class, he mentioned that he constantly learned new things in the class. Stitt-Riley has a 3.5 GPA, he liked King/Drew for their academic curriculum.

“I just felt like I was getting the best education I could get,” he said. “I learned a lot here about high school and for college and for the future.”

Taking AP Psychology helped Stitt-Riley understand the actions of others.

“Some people are just taught to do things a certain way, that’s why they do it,” he said. “They’re not trying to go against that way.”

King/Drew finished their season with a 20-16 overall record and a 6-6 Marin League record. One of their many notable achievements was defeating their rivals, the Gardena Panthers, for the first time in a number of seasons in a 56-43 victory. In their first meeting this season, Gardena won 51-48.

“We were still angry that we lost to them the first time because we should have won,” Stitt-Riley said. “We just came out with a lot of energy and it just feels good to play against your rival and beat them.

The Marine League houses powerful programs like Narbonne, Washington Prep, and Carson. King/Drew finished league play in a three-way tie at third place.

“To play against tough opponents, we have to execute on every possession,” Stitt-Riley said. “You can’t take plays off because they’re just as good as you or even better, so you have to execute to the best of your ability.”

His advice to aspiring student-athletes is to keep their composure through adverse situations and not to be afraid to ask for help.

“Don’t ever let things bring you down,” Stitt-Riley said. “If you don’t ask for help, you’re just doing the same things over and over again, so asking [for] help can really benefit you and push you forward.”