Joe Gaiter: What does track and field and basketball mean to you?
Brian Sims Jr: Track and basketball mean a lot to me because I invest so much time in to getting better and perfecting my craft in each sport. The way I train and work hard for each sport reflect the type of person I am. Displaying my talents gives me complete joy and I am blessed to be able to do what I love on the college level.
Joe Gaiter: Where did you grow up and tell us about your childhood?
Brian Sims Jr: I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where I spent most of my whole life attending school and living. From an early age, I’ve always been someone who loves to stay active. My parents really instilled in me the discipline to be able to do whatever I desired as long as I had priorities. Starting at about 4 years old, my athletic career began. Throughout my childhood I played basketball, lacrosse, football, and ran track. I also was in the marching band in high school, so that was kind of another sport as well. I used my extracurricular activities as a child to have fun and to stay busy as much as possible.
Joe Gaiter: Let’s talk about your amazing track and field career at Ramsay High School?
Brian Sims Jr: Surprisingly, I started running track in the 11th grade. I gave track a try initially because I’ve always been fast and the rest is history. My personal best times in high school were 10.8 in the 100 meter, 21.4 in the 200 meter, and 47.4 in the 400 meter. Starting out, I knew I had the raw talent, but I just had to watch videos and listen to my coaches to help improve my technique. Each meet I raced in it seemed like I was getting better and better. I currently hold a few records at my high school in a couple of events, and I hope they won’t be broken for a while. Despite only running track for 2 years, I still hold some meet records in the state of Alabama, and I medaled both years at the Alabama State Championships.
Joe Gaiter: You were a high decorated and awarded high school athlete. Tell us about your recruitment?
Brian Sims Jr: Seeing that I wanted to be a dual sport athlete in college, it was a very unique process. Since indoor track season was during basketball season, I would only be able to do the outdoor season for track in college. Going in to my senior year, I did not have a scholarship offers for either sport. I eventuallystarting receiving multiple track scholarships from all levels. Basketball on the other hand was a slow process of recruiting despite averaging 15 points for one of the best basketball schools in the state. Eventually, I had many schools that flirted with the option of me doing both sports, but they were not sure how it would work out. After receiving a few schools that didn’t mind me doing both sports in college, some of those coaches lost their job and that put me back to square one. Many people pressured me to give up basketball, but I made myself a promise that I was going to do both sports on the collegiate level. After a long and unique recruiting journey in high school, I decided to go to Clayton State University to play basketball and run track.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you originally choose Clayton State?
Brian Sims Jr: During my recruitment journey, Clayton state was just the best choice for me when it came to doing both sports. The coaching staffs for each program really penciled me in when it came to the teams and I felt confident for a bright career at CSU. The school just initially was the best fit for me.
Joe Gaiter: What was your contribution to track and the basketball team this year?
Brian Sims Jr: Due to COVID-19, I was not able to run an outdoor season for track this past 2020 season. Although, I had a pretty good freshman year in 2019 ultimately winning 1st team all-conference in the Peach Belt Conference. Despite nagging injuries all year, I managed to still have a successful freshman track season. This season my basketball contribution was big for the team on and off the court. Off the court, I displayed leadership in the classroom and around campus on how our team should operate to be successful. On the court, I managed to have a lot of production with a little amount of time. I brought a different type of energy and tenacity to the team’s culture. I was selected by the Peach Belt Conference to be on the All-Academic Team for the 2019-20 basketball season.
Joe Gaiter: Why did you transfer to Lees-McRae College?
Brian Sims Jr: My reason for transferring to Lees-McRae just consisted of the program at Clayton State not being a great fit for me on the basketball court. I felt as if I should have been given more opportunities to produce throughout the season and I needed a fresh start. I am excited about this next journey at Lees-McRae College, and I look forward to having success for my last two years in college athletics.
Joe Gaiter: What do you think you can add to their 18-11 basketball team and their track team?
Brian Sims Jr: The identity at LMC is to push the tempo and to make the game as fast as possible. This program completely fits my talents and abilities perfectly with their style of play. I can contribute my speed and athleticism as well as my play making on the court. On the track, I look to continue to grow and learn from my coaches on how I can be the best version on myself. For both sports, I will bring my talent and leadership to the table to continue to establish the winning culture that already exists. Both coaching staffs have big plans for their respective programs and I look forward to winning two conference championships in two sports this season
Joe Gaiter: What is your motivation?
Brian Sims Jr: My motivation is simply just to be successful at whatever I do. I know I’m not perfect, but I am motivated to be successful. Having this motivative mentality makes me work harder and try to improve on where I am weak to better myself for whatever I aspire to do.
Joe Gaiter: What message do you have for your new teams, coaches and fans?
Brian Sims Jr: The message I have for the Bobcat Nation at LMC is that I will bring my best on and off the court/track. I will use my talents and abilities to represent the school in a way that will make it attractive for other student athletes to come here and follow in my footsteps. I plan on making history at Lees-McRae College, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the family.
Joe Gaiter: How has one sport helped the other?
Brian Sims Jr: Both sports complement each other very well. Running track obviously keeps me in tremendous shape to excel on the basketball court. Using my speed playing basketball gives me a tremendous advantage over the competition. On the other hand, my basketball explosiveness helps me in track with getting out of the blocks as violently as possible. I also think I benefit year round by using different types of muscles in each individual sport.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and how do you plan on using it?
Brian Sims Jr: For my first two years at Clayton State, I majored in political science. My current school does not offer that major so I will be majoring in history. I plan on using that to be an attorney.
Joe Gaiter: What is life like for you outside of sports?
Brian Sims Jr: Outside of sports I am a dedicated student who values education. I make sure I perform well in the classroom to be able to continue my extra curricular activities. Overall, my life outside of sports just consists of staying active in the community and in my church. I just strive to be best I can be in every facet of life and not just sports.
Joe Gaiter: What do you want your legacy to be?
Brian Sims Jr: I want to leave a legacy to show that being yourself and staying true to who you are is the most valuable thing you can offer. Authenticity is rare but it is also very memorable.
Joe Gaiter: What is your untold story?
Brian Sims Jr: My whole life I have always been viewed differently because of things I was blessed with out of my control. I am currently living this story, and I know that all the things I have experienced only make me stronger and better for the next battle that I will face.
Joe Gaiter: Final Words?
Brian Sims Jr: I would just like to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to be able to play college sports. I am excited about the next chapter in my life, and I will surely make the most of it. Stay tuned!!!
Joe Gaiter: Shout outs?
Brian Sims Jr: I would like to give a shout out to my parents, my sister Erin, all of my family, Madison, my church, teammates, coaches, and friends.
Twitter and Instagram: bsj_24
Brian Sims Jr.,Clayton State to Lees-McRae, Interview with Joe Gaiter was last modified: May 29th, 2020 by Joseph Gaiter