By Rachel Kearney
Maybe you know him as the guy with more hair on his chin than the top of his head. Or perhaps his 6’7, 215-pound frame has at one point intimidated you. But beneath the beard and in that giant body is a man full of athleticism, talent and a personality you just might want to get to know.
Redshirt junior Brandon Streets is a two-sport athlete at Olivet. Though he originally came from his hometown of Lombard, Ill. to play basketball, during the fall of his redshirt freshman year he was asked to help out the baseball team’s pitching as well.
Streets has excelled at both. Last year in baseball, he led the team with a 1.16 ERA and was named to the National Christian College All-Tournament team. In basketball this year, the power forward has averaged 10 points and 5.4 rebounds in the 14 games he has played in since returning from his third meniscus injury.
“He’s a hard worker,” said basketball teammate redshirt junior Antonio Marshall. “He’s one of those guys that bring energy.”
According to Marshall and fellow teammate junior Jake Hasselbring, Streets brings energy to the team in more ways than one.
“He just likes to have fun,” Hasselbring said.
One of those ways Streets has fun is through music. Though he never had time to pursue music while playing football, basketball and baseball in high school, this past year he decided to make more time by cutting out the hours he spent in front of a computer or TV to teach himself the drums.
“I picked up drums really quick,” Streets said. “I don’t see myself stopping.”
Although he is focused on the present, Streets says he is constantly praying about his future. While he wants to pursue baseball following his graduation next year, he is open to wherever God puts him and however He wants to use him.
Streets believes one way God wants to use him is through teaching. If baseball doesn’t work out, he said he would love to be a high school health teacher and coach.
Though he looks for direction from God today, Streets said that it wasn’t until almost a year ago that his faith became his own. He and his roommate at the time, former Olivet basketball player and 2010 alum Josh Bronke, decided to take their faith more seriously. But it took a summer in New York playing baseball on a team sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for Streets’ faith to really grow.
“It helped me realize what I’m here for and why I play,” he said. “You play with 100 percent of what you have because God gave it to you. I’ve always been a hustle player, but this year I think you can really see it more. At least I hope so.”
But then, of course, there’s that beard.
It all began last year when Streets and Bronke decided to grow out their beards for a couple of months. The basketball team liked it so much they told Streets he should grow it out again after he tore his meniscus this past September. He has been growing it ever since.
“I try to keep it clean,” Streets said. “I want to do something with it before I get rid of it, like braids or beads or something.”
If he does, maybe he won’t come across quite as intimidating.