March 13, 2014

Otis elevates SHC

Kevin McCarthy

Big sometimes comes in small packages. Now before your brain sends out a 'does not compute' message, please consider one Deondre Otis. The 6-foot Sacred Heart Cathedral senior and San Francisco Rebel is a challenge seeker always looking forward to slinging his best against any way, shape or form of Goliath.

photo of Deondre Otis

A 2014 first team All West Catholic Athletic Conference honoree, Otis first and foremost competes. Whether it be an accumulation of points, rebounds or stops against talented offensive opponents, it's all the same to him -- tangible progress towards winning.

Being successful is something connected to Sacred Heart hoops as the last two versions of the Fightin' Irish made it all the way to the state finals before being turned back. This season's group is back again in the Nor Cal Regional playoffs and seeded first in Division III. The likes of Taylor Johns, Josh Fox, Herman Pratt, Khalil James and now Otis have led this continuous charge.

In fact, those trips stand out as his best moments. “Going to back-to-back state championship games and playing on the [Sacramento] Kings' court was great.”

To a query regarding what he perceives as his best skill, Otis replied, “I can guard and I like to guard the best player. Defense is key to my team, it's just something I have in me, the heart to play defense.”

That's also behind his devotion to basketball -- “It's a game I cherish the most and have a passion to play.”

He credits both his parents for all their support and also Sacred Heart Cathedral Coach Darrell Barbour. Succinct in his praise, Otis offered, “he pushes me.”

Here's San Francisco Rebels Coach Nate Ford on Otis: “Deondre is a great kid from a very supportive family. He is a quiet leader who leads by example with his grades and court play. He has been with the Rebels since he was six years old and, like many city players, Deondre does not get the respect and recognition that he deserves. But I can say that he is one of the most grateful, respectful, humble, and loyal kids that I have ever coached. I know D I schools look for the bigger guards but, if you look at lil DO, he has battled against the very best and has more than held his own. The school that gets him will for sure will get a steal.”

Last year was a bit different for Otis because “I played point guard and off guard and that helped. I gained more confidence in my shooting.” But this season, it's strictly been him at the one.

Regarding his eligibility at the next level, he explained, “I'm doing good academically although it was a challenge coming from a public school. But I'm very competitive in the classroom, as much as in practice.”

Receiving recruiting interest from a couple of DI schools and more at the DII level, his dream is to play DI. However, he's wide open, willing to go anywhere that's a fit for his skills set.

Otis is looking to major in sports management.