Kevin Breaux gains his tiger stripes: ESJ super baseball player signs to Grambling

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 10, 2019

RESERVE – East St. John baseball coach Wendell Henderson said he never wants to influence his players’ decisions when it comes to their college choices.

But Henderson said he had to admit that he’s pretty proud that one of his star players chose to follow in his footsteps.

Kevin Breaux, a catcher who just completed an outstanding prep baseball career as a Wildcat, is changing his stripes to that of a Grambling State Tiger this week. Earlier this month, Henderson, who was a legendary baseball player back in his own day, was inducted into the Grambling Hall of Fame.

2019 East St. John High School graduate Kevin Breaux recently committed to Grambling State University’s baseball team.

“It’s great to see him go to my alma mater,” Henderson said. “But I didn’t plan it that way. I’m a coach like this: I never ever instruct a kid in where he goes to school because, that’s your choice. You need to make that choice. For four years. I tell them, it’s not mother’s choice, it’s not father’s choice, it’s not uncle’s choice and not brother’s choice. It’s your choice.”

Henderson said one day, out of the blue, Breaux told him he just really wanted to go to Grambling.

Breaux said he struggled with his decision nearly all summer.

“It was weighing on me all summer,” he said. “So I was proud of myself when I signed with Grambling. He did also consider a few junior colleges and Grambling’s biggest rival, Southern.

“I liked the coaching, the atmosphere,” he said. “It just felt like home. When I first stepped on campus from the first visit. I can’t wait.”

Anyone who has followed Breaux’s baseball path knew he would end up somewhere. A four-year starter at East St. John, he has been on several all-district and all-regional teams.

He also has made headlines for his exploits. In April of this year, he went 4-for-4, hitting a triple and three home runs – including a walk-off grand slam – accounting for all of his team’s runs in the game.

In April, Kevin Breaux hit a triple and three home runs – including a walk-off grand slam in a single game.

“I’ve set all kinds of records and never had a day like that,” Henderson said at the time.

Breaux finished the season with a .352 batting average and four home runs.

Breaux also has spent his off-seasons traveling around the country honing his skills at a series of camps sponsored by Major League Baseball. In the summer of 2016, he boarded a plane for the first time to attend the Elite Development Invitational at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. He also traveled to Washington, D.C. for the Commissioner’s Cup training camp and the Dream Series in Tempe, Ariz.

“Grambling is going to get a great player,” Henderson said. “He brings his knowledge of catching. He has learned a lot and grown so much as a player and a person. Really, we haven’t seen the best of him. His body is going to mature and, the way he can catch now, it’s only going to enhance the way he plays.”

Henderson joked that he hopes his own Grambling baseball records are safe now that Breaux is on the Tigers team. But Breaux said his idol is his mom, Shantell Brown.

“She’s a single mother and she raised four kids,” Breaux said. “She’s my biggest hero.”