WHEATON, Md. -- Basketball coaches can look at the stats and see that Detrick Natm has gone from averaging 11 points per game last year to 20 points in every contest in this season.
It's nothing compared to the growth he's shown becoming a leader on a struggling Knights team.
"He's one of the leading scorers in Montgomery County Public Schools," said Marco Basso-Luca, the boys basketball coach at Wheaton. "I think this year he realizes, 'I'm one of the main guys I'm one of the older guys because there's only one senior so he realizes I've got to play hard in practice, I've got to set a good example for the other kids because if I don't play hard if I don't come to practice everyday to work hard the other kids won't either.'"
The junior takes his leadership role on the team seriously. The Knights are 1-15 on the season through Friday.
"It means a lot. It shows that I've matured, especially since my freshman year," said Natm.
Natm made the varsity team as a freshman but struggled with his grades. Now he's excelling in classes like physics and history and thinking about how he can turn those good grades and basketball skills into a college scholarship.
For Natm that includes sticking to a strict diet and sleeping schedule to keep his energy, grades and game up.
Coaches applaud his work ethic and believe it will also make future teams stronger for struggling through a tough season with Natm in the lead and showing the kind of example that others can learn from.