Anthony Torres (#22) loves sports. In 2019, he formed an SQ Intramural League team called “Free Bands.” Starting 0-4, they didn’t get their first win until they defeated the winless Knicks, coached by Rahsaan ‘New York’ Thomas. After that, the team changed their name to “Hit Squad,” and advanced to the final round of three of the 2019 playoffs. Although the Intramural League ended without a champion, Torres sat down for this interview during their playoff run to talk about the team, respect, and his personal evolution as a person and a competitor.
Q: In the beginning, with exception of Brian Corder (#19) and Derrick Gray (not pictured), no one on your team played for the SQ Kings or SQ Warriors. Now, you have Jareyd ‘Deep Ball’ Newton of the SQ Kings and Kia’Endre ‘Big Baby’ Arrington of the
SQ Warriors. Did they change the chemistry of the team or was it coaching from Jerry Brown?(SQNewsSept.2019 for Jerry Brown interview) AT: It was some of both.
Q: But, you were on the team as a player. Then, you stepped back and became more of a general manager. Explain that.
AT: I wanted to play, but, I started feeling like people didn’t respect us. I stepped back because I heard about Coach JB. I went to him asked for his help. I’ll do whatever it takes – including coming out of jersey – because I wanna win. So, I gave up part of the responsibility and became JB’s student. But, it’s still my creation, and I’m proud of where we are.
Q: How long have you been involved in sports?
AT: My whole life.
Q: Is this the first prison where you had a chance to be involved in interracial sports?
AT: No, at Pleasant Val- ley on the Level III, we played interracial sports as well. My first team was the Warriors football team; we won in 2017.
Q: So what kind of self- help groups have you taken during this incarceration?
AT: CGA (Criminals and Gangsters Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), GoGi (Getting Out by Go- ing In) all while at Pleasant Valley. Here at The Q, I’m a part of SQUIRES.
Q: What’s different about being at The Q in relation to your first term in prison?
AT: The environment and the individuals are way different than I’m used to; it wasn’t too many Black dudes because of the ‘val- ley fever’ issue at Pleasant
Valley. There was more politics my first term. I was on a Level III… the point system changed, so I became a higher security risk and that’s where the politics became more serious. Now, my points dropped after seven months, so I’m here at The Q. No write ups, and I’m programming. I’m closer to home at The Q (Hayward), more visits!
Q: I can feel that. There’s a kid out there that’s going to read this interview… this kid, male or female, is thinking about joining a gang; talk directly to that person and speak truth to them.
AT: Don’t give up your dreams for a decision that forces you to grow up. Enjoy your time as kid. I was once that kid and I was told to make realistic decisions, not fleeting ones.
Q: I want to thank you for sitting down for this interview. Do you have a closing statement?
AT: I thank everybody who supports me and has accepted me here at The Q. Those who’ve embraced me, helped me be involved in multiple programs and groups as well as the sports programs. Shout out to my team Hit Squad and lets go Raiders! Super Bowl!
(Unfortunately, the Raiders didn’t make the playoffs. You can see the Raiders in Las Vegas in 2020.)