NBC News: Lone Peak High School basketball team breaking stereotypes

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28 2013 1:40 p.m. MST

Lone Peak High School, the no. 1 ranked high school basketball team in the nation and two-time defending 5A UHSAA state basketball champion, plays a brand of basketball that isn't normally associated with clean-cut, white, Mormon boys.

In a segment lasting just over two minutes on Thursday's Today Show, NBC News reporter Miguel Almaguer's report focused on the racial stereotypes the Lone Peak Knights are breaking as they've traveled across the country playing high-profile opponents, winning most games by more than 20 points.

To do so, Almaguer turned to Tyrone Slaughter, head basketball coach of Whitney Young High School in Chicago, considered in some polls to be the no. 2 team in the country.

"They like to pressure and they like to run," Slaughter told NBC. "That's really something that's been reserved for inner-city teams. They play exactly the way people would consider an African-American or a black team to play. They play basketball people enjoy seeing basketball played. It's not a white game; it's not a black game; it's a basketball game, and that's the way they play it."

T.J. Haws, one of three players on Lone Peak's squad to have committed to play college basketball for BYU, told NBC the Knights play with a chip on their shoulder every game.

"They don't look at us as a dominant team," he said. "They don't think we're good, and we're going to come out and prove it. We're going to show that we have worked hard and we've brought it."

NBC News isn't the only national news entity to have reported on Lone Peak's rise to national supremacy. The New York Times published a lengthy feature in its Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 edition.

The Knights are currently in pursuit of their third straight state basketball championship and have advanced to the semifinal round. Their game against Brighton High School, a rematch of last year's 5A championship game, will be streamed live on DeseretNews.com and KSL.com on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:10 p.m. MST.

Landon Hemsley is the sports content manager for DeseretNews.com. Email: lhemsley@deseretnews.com. Twitter: @EarlOfHemsley

Read more about Lone Peak on NBCNews.com.