The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 24, 2013

Jon Gerardi's column on boys basketball: More than a game for Mustangs' rookie

There's a somewhat old cliche about needing a distraction in life. Sometimes things just get so hectic or stressful that you just need to take a little break.

Every now and then, that cliche can ring true in the sports world. Some may need the distraction of a game just to enjoy themselves. And then again, sometimes it's more than simply a distraction.

Sports occasionally are just needed to keep you focused on something else. That team bond you have can help you get through something by finding an outlet to stay on a positive road in life.

That's precisely what happened for Midd-West's Kahill Brooker.

In his own words, the senior guard had a few situations growing up that weren't exactly ideal. Not only was his father not around growing up, but he found himself constantly moving. He went from Philadelphia to Williamsport to Mechanicsburg back to Williamsport and then to the Midd-West School District.

They say that it isn't always the person that's bad, but the environment in which they live. It can have a negative influence on you. Essentially, that's what happened during his time in Williamsport. Brooker got mixed in with the wrong crowd and before he knew it, he had some unfortunate brushes with the law.

So the move to Midd-West worked out for the best and got Brooker out of the bad lifestyle that he found himself in Williamsport.

"I was influenced by a lot of things (in Williamsport)," Brooker said. "I'm focused on my school work and I'm doing the right thing now."

It was during this time that Brooker had a conversation with his mother, Andrea, and his older brother, Aaron, and the two brothers were talking about things he regretted not doing in high school.

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