This Salem hoops star loves cars, basketball and science (although not necessarily in that order)
A lot of high school basketball players would love to possess the hops of Salem 6-foot senior guard Pryor Reynolds, whose first in-game dunk came early in his junior season of fall travel ball.
“I don’t think most people were expecting it when I dunked,” Reynolds remembered. “But I was.”
An equally long line of hoops lovers would covet the renovation project that is unfolding in the Reynolds family’s Canton home.
“We’re building a mini-gym in our living room,” Reynolds revealed, smiling. “Our living room has a high ceiling, so my parents are putting a regulation hoop on the wall and are in the process of installing the flooring. It will probably only be big enough to play one-on-one, but it’s going to be nice.”
Oh, and Reynolds added that all the typical living-room-like accessories — lamps, coffee tables, a ceiling fan — have been removed to heighten the basketball experience.
Hard work pays off
Reynolds’ all-around skillset didn’t materialize by sitting around playing video games. The high-energy athlete has been a hoops junkie since as far back as he can remember.
“When I was 3, my parents bought a Little Tikes hoop and they’d sit around and watch me shoot at that, making up scoring situations,” he recounted.
“Once I was in fourth or fifth grade, I played in the YMCA leagues, then I moved on to travel ball. What’s cool is I still keep in touch with pretty much everybody I played with in the YMCA league. They’re not all still playing competitively, but we still play pick-up together.”
Reynolds is a disciple of the old adage that says good players become great players when nobody else is watching.
“I make it a point to stay after practice and shoot and I like showing up early to work on my game and to watch the JV and freshmen guys practice.
“During COVID, I was always outdoors shooting on my driveway and my friend owns a gym in Livonia.”
Reynolds, whose favorite subject in school is science, said this season’s Salem team has incredible chemistry.
“They’re all my brothers,” he said. “We all came from different middle schools and stuff, but we mesh like we’ve played together forever.”
Reynolds delivered a possible preview of things to come during a game at Novi last season.
“I made four threes in the second half and finished with about 10 free throws,” he said. “I have the green light to shoot, but I always make sure I make the team-first play before I let it go.”
Reynolds patterned his early basketball training after his favorite player: Golden State’s Steph Curry.
“When I was young, I’d start shooting long threes when I was practicing by myself,” he said. “Most young players start shooting inside and work their way out. I did it the opposite, but it’s worked out pretty well.”
Basketball is No. 1 on Reynolds’ list of favorite things.
“But cars are a close second,” he admitted. “I drive a Volkswagen Passat that was passed down to me by my dad. My ultimate goal is to one day own a Dodge Charger.”
Not surprising considering the high-energy Rock has an engine that rarely stops.