CHANDLER (3TV/CBS 5) - Come 6A playoff time, which is right around the corner, the Chandler Wolves will have as good of a shot as any.
On a memorable senior night, the Wolves sent a powerful message, running past Brophy 66-58 to capture the league title.
"We owed them big time, and we wanted to go out in the last regular season home game, for the seniors and just take it to them, and that's what we did," said senior guard Adrian Chandler.
A more powerful message was sent before that game, when Chandler, Isiah Somers and Jonathon Williams kneeled during the national anthem.
"The word protest makes it seem like I'm against something. And the way I want to go about this is a movement," Chandler explained. "And I'm towards, I'm for equity and inclusion and standing up for your rights. And I think at the local level it gets lost."
Chandler began kneeling during the anthem over a year ago.
"I'm not protesting the military. I'm not protesting the flag. I'm in the complete opposite. I support my country and I love living here," he said. "The injustice that has been happening in this country is important to address it and the equity that can come out of this. And I just want to make sure, that people know that's what I'm standing for."
"It was really a non-issue; we didn't discuss it all last year," Chandler basketball coach Jonathan Rother said. "You know, it's his right to do that."
It's a polarizing issue and Chandler has received questions from classmates.
"I've gotten, 'Why are you kneeling? 'I don't understand it.' 'I don't understand it,'" said Chandler.
Not talking about the issue, Somers and Williams started keeling in support of Chandler. In some cases a controversial stand could cause friction, but not with this legitimate state title contender.
"My guys are dedicated to their team," Rother said. "And we have great chemistry. You know, it hasn't been a distraction at all."
Level-headed and well-spoken, Chandler is spreading his message at on-and off-campus groups supporting racial equity.
"Which is exactly what I wanted to bring from the kneeling, was working our community ... so it can spread across America. And that's the point," said Chandler.
In search of a positive outcome, Chandler will continue his stance with the support of teammates, hoping it leads to a better United States of America.
"The fact that it's getting addressed by the conversation -- even in this conversation -- is the whole point," Chandler said.