Boys basketball • Coach calls senior the team's best defender on or off the ball.
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When Craig and Lisa Devashrayee were shopping for their first home, they told their real-estate agent they needed two things: an adequate kitchen and a basketball court.
The former Skyline High School prep stars searched for months until the day Lisa pulled up to their current house in Cottonwood Heights.
A flat, wide driveway with a hoop on the side was an immediate lure. After a quick tour to make sure the kitchen would suffice, the house became their home.
From the time their oldest son, Travis, could walk, he could be found playing or holding a basketball, with the family court the location of some of his earliest memories.
"Even when I was supposed to be in bed, I used to get up and watch the neighborhood kids come over and play on our court," Travis said.
All grown up now at 6 foot 5, Travis Devashrayee figures to be a key cog on a Brighton squad that finished second in the Class 5A state tournament last season.
While teammate Brandon Miller gets most of the headlines, Devashrayee averaged 12 points per game, led the 2011-12 squad in rebounding and filled the stat sheet in every measured and nonmeasured category.
"I have never had this huge desire to be the guy, the one who scores every bucket," he said. "I want to score, but I'll do anything to help my team win."
And he does mean anything.
Devashrayee typically is assigned the opposing team's best offensive player, and while he compares himself to a player such as the Utah Jazz's Paul Millsap, Bengals coach Jeff Gardner thinks he might be selling himself short.
"To us he's kind of like a Scottie Pippen to the Bulls," Gardner said. "He's a kid who could carry a team with his ability but does all the little things with his defense and scoring, and that makes him the ultimate glue guy."
When asked who the best defender on his team is, Devashrayee struggles.
"Boy, that's a tough one," he said.
His coach doesn't have the same problem.
"If you ask anyone on the team that question, they'll all tell you it's Travis," Gardner said. "His defensive quickness is unmatched, he's a really quick jumper and he's both our best on- and off-the-ball defender."
Fresh off the Class 5A runner-up campaign, Devashrayee spent the summer lifting weights and shoring up any perceived weaknesses in his game, all the while thinking of the success of his team.
"We're not a very big team, so I wanted to get stronger to at least hold my own down low," he said. "I worked a lot on ball handling and being able to create my own shot off the dribble."
Brighton begins its season by hosting West on Nov. 20 before a rematch of the state title game at Lone Peak on Nov. 28.
Gardner said Devashrayee is going to make some college a very fine basketball player when he comes back from an LDS Church mission and puts on some weight.
"Travis is the ultimate balanced student athlete with a 4.0 grade-point average," Gardner said. "He was prom king, he's well-liked by the student body and he's completely dedicated to helping his team win."
Travis Devashrayee averaged 12 points per game, led Brighton in rebounding and figures to be a key ingredient to the 2012 team's success.
Unselfish to a fault, he often has to be encouraged to look for his shot a little more, coach Jeff Gardner says.
Devashrayee still has a ways to go to hold the family records. His free-throw percentage was in the low 80s last season, a tad short of the upper 80s his mother made while playing at Skyline in the mid-1980s.