Inglewood senior Montana Lemonious-Craig plays on both the Sentinel’s football and boys basketball teams. His main focus is his schoolwork and his athletics skills, he works to avoid distractions.
“I have a daily schedule: go to school, practice, homework, sleep,” Lemonious-Craig said. “I don’t really have time for too many social events.”
Lemonious-Craig have been playing both sports since his youth, he started playing basketball at seven years old at the Inglewood park league and football at eight years old with the Inglewood Jets.
Playing football gives Lemonious-Craig a unique set of skills on the court.
“Athleticism, toughness, all that interacts with being on the basketball court,” he said. “Sometimes there’s a certain toughness that football players have that basketball players don’t.”
With Inglewood football going to the playoffs, Lemonious-Craig did not fret about his games overlapping basketball games. His coaches understand his obligations to both teams that he’s on.
“I’m trying to be successful in both,” he said. “Once I’m on one for that time period, I’m dedicating all my time to that sport.”
While the Sentinels had a contending football season, Lemonious-Craig noted how a challenge was getting his teammates accustomed to the culture implemented by their new coaching staff.
“We were coming off of a very struggle-built season last year, it was kind of hard to tell everybody we got it this year,” Lemonious-Craig said. “Once everybody was able to buy in, the results were coming.”
The Sentinels were undefeated in-season; in five games, their opponents did not score. Lemonious-Craig finished his senior football season with 1227 total receiving yards. He scored a season high of 4 touchdown catches in a shut-out win against West High School.
In their win against Santa Monica in the second round of the playoffs, Lemonious-Craig racked up 135 reception yards and two touchdowns.
Adjusting to a new coach was something Lemonious-Craig had to do in basketball when veteran coach Patrick Roy retired, and Ronald Allen became head coach. When Lemonious-Craig began to trust him, success came soon after.
“We won league last season,” he said. “I plan to do it again this year, but that’s probably my favorite moment because it was good for our [then] first-year coach, coach Ron.”
Lemonious-Craig noted how his favorite class is English. He aspires to go into communications and broadcasting when he becomes a college student.
“I took a public speaking class previously … and I enjoyed it,” Lemonious-Craig said. “I’m not too much of a shy guy. I might be nervous here and there.”
When time allows, Lemonious-Craig works does chartity work at his church, the First African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“I’m in their YPD, Young People’s Department,” Lemonious-Craig said. “[I] help feed the homeless, go out do certain things, donate clothing.”