This week, Pro Insight caught up with Darryn Peterson, a five-star guard in the class of 2025 who was named to the twelve-man USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team, which will compete in the 2023 FIBA Men’s U16 Americas Championship in Merida, Mexico. USA is 37-0 all-time in this event and has an opportunity to add to its historic total of seven consecutive gold medals.
Peterson is a mainstay in the USAB program, having previously attended the Junior National Team April and October Minicamps. This spring, Peterson suited up for Phenom United (OH) on the 3SSB circuit, averaging 24.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game including a stat-sheet-stuffer line of 46 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists during the second live period weekend. In the 2022-23 high school season, he led Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (OH) to a 18-7 record and a second round appearance in the Division II state tourney, earning first-team all-state and MaxPreps Sophomore All-America first-team honors. Standing at 6’5”, the 2025 guard is a prolific scorer with two-way upside and physical tools.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Peterson talked about his experience with USAB and what he brings to the U16 team, life lessons he has received from his parents, skills that translated from playing soccer and baseball growing up, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2025 prospect Darryn Peterson, from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio:
Pro Insight: Congratulations on being named to the USA Basketball U16 Men’s National Team. What's been your impression of the training camp?
Darryn Peterson: It has just been super competitive, high intensity. There has been a lot of communication. Everything's been going good so far.
PI: Who have you enjoyed playing with this week?
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup this week?
DP: I’m guarding everybody right now, so I wouldn’t say anybody in particular. I'm trying to show my versatility on defense.
PI: You’ve attended previous USAB minicamps — how is this one different or similar from the others?
DP: I think this one I got a lot more confidence. I was a younger guy in some of the other ones that I’ve been at, but this one was U16s, so I feel like I got more confidence and I'm making more shots, so it's been going my way right now.
PI: You come from an athletic background — how did you get to where you are today?
DP: How I got to where I am today is really just my mom and my dad. They keep me hungry and humble. They keep me hardworking in the classroom. From a young age, they told me I gotta focus on the classroom by being an adult to play basketball, which I love to do. They had me really focused on the ground at a young age and even when I didn't want to work out, they taught me how to be consistent and grind.
PI: What’s the best piece of basketball advice you’ve received from your dad?
DP: “Hard work pays off.”
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
DP: Yeah, I played baseball and soccer.
PI: Has anything you learned in these sports translated into basketball?
DP: In soccer, you gotta be in shape. It's a long field with a lot of guys. In baseball, it was hand-eye coordination.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
DP: I’d say I'm a 1/2 right now. I can play the 1 and the 2 so I think I can effectively score and facilitate, guard, rebound — pretty much anything my coaches need me to do to win.
PI: Who do you model your game after or study on film?
DP: I would say Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kobe, Jayson Tatum.
PI: What does it mean to you to represent USAB on the international stage?
DP: That's big. There's been a lot of GOATs here, so to be able to try to put on for my country is a great feeling.
PI: What do you specifically bring to the U16 team?
DP: I think I bring leadership, defensive energy, and I’m a facilitator on offense.
PI: What type of leader are you?
DP: I think both, modeling by example and being vocal at times.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
DP: I’m working on catch-and-shoots because I've played a lot more on the ball on other teams, but I need to be able to catch-and-shoot when I have other guards on my team.
PI: What’s been the latest with your recruitment?
DP: Yeah, I really want to visit as many schools as I can right now, but I haven't really decided that yet.
PI: Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
DP: I would say it's been equal throughout pretty much really between all the schools, yeah.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
DP: Besides academics, I would say a coach that’s willing to coach me hard and not just coach me easy, but really take the time to help me become the best version of me.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
DP: I just like to chill with the fam, really.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
PI: What is your favorite Drake song?
DP: Ah, there’s too many. Probably right now is his new one, Search & Rescue, yeah.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
DP: I’d say #BucketGetter haha.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
DP: I would say be a coach or doctor.
PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
DP: Ah, putting in the milk before the cereal. Yeah, you got to put the milk after.
PI: What is your dream NIL deal and why?
DP: I don't know. That's a good one. Probably something like Crocs. It's my go-to shoe.
PI: Besides the NBA, where do you see yourself in five years?
DP: Just taking care of my family. Doing everything I can to take care of my family, my little siblings, my mom and dad.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
DP: I’d say hardworking, tough, smart, and determined.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
DP: As a player, I want to be remembered for my work ethic and then as a person, just not being cocky, being one of the top players in my class and just I'm a human being first before a basketball player and I wanna treat everybody how I would like to be treated so I'm not gonna treat anybody bad. I’m gonna treat everybody how I would like to be treated and bring people up to my level.