Peyton Siva brings blessings to Louisville
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
LOUISVILLE — Each day, Peyton Siva Jr. receives a text message that’s a bit different from all the others he’ll get that day.
It’s a Bible verse from his former youth pastor, a bite-size chunk of religion — the perfect amount for the Louisville guard who’s busy juggling his senior year classes and the rigors of college basketball’s regular season.
But Peyton always has time for a text from Danny Cage, the pastor he credits with getting his teen-age self in touch with his spirituality. At Louisville, Peyton wears No. 3 to represent the Trinity: the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.
Before he found Cage and the church, Peyton had watched his father sink into a world of drugs, addiction and prison. At 13, a desperate Peyton borrowed his brother’s car to drive around Seattle to search for his missing father, eventually finding him with a gun in his lap.
“Peyton tells me, ‘Dad, I know you love me and I know you’d do anything for me. I don’t need you to go in and out of jail. I need you to be there,’ ” Peyton Sr. says. “That was pretty much my turning point there. That’s where everything began to change in my life. I committed to going to treatment, doing things I was supposed to be doing so I could be there for my son today.”
During Peyton Jr.’s childhood, both of his older siblings spent time in jail, too. The youngest of the family was the first to graduate from high school.
“(His sister and brother) tested limits, got into trouble at school and got into trouble out in the community,” says Yvette Gaston, Peyton’s mother. “He didn’t go that route. He just didn’t want to. He saw what his sister and brother were doing and what it was doing to me. He didn’t want that. He learned from their mistakes. He wanted to see us all do better.”
First, Peyton used basketball as an escape. Introduced to the sport largely through his brother, Peyton was a natural from an early age. He grew up playing up … [For more on Peyton Siva brings blessings, not burdens, to Louisville, click here.]