The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 24, 2013

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


That team-first focus is what helps motivate other players on the Midd-West team, even though Brooker's only been there a year.

"Mentally, he's a really good (kid). He's got his head in practice, he's got his head in the game the whole time. He gets disappointed when the other guys are slacking, which they tend to do from time to time. He doesn't like that," Midd-West coach Brent Bobb said. "He's new to the school, new to the area, so he hasn't really emerged as a team leader yet, but if he was here for awhile, he certainly would be because he has that mentality, like, 'I'm working my butt off, I expect you to work your butt off too.' He's a real good ballplayer, no question about it. He does well in school (and) he's just an all-around good kid, too."

That natural talent that Brooker has shows in games. Through Midd-West's 13 games thus, Brooker's been a leading scorer in seven and close to the leading scorer in just about every other game.

"He brings a dimension to this team that we haven't had in the last couple years," Bobb said.

Brooker's playing for the love of the game, one that he's always been dedicated to and enjoyed, but sometimes basketball can be more than just a game. For Brooker, it definitely is.

"I actually want to further it (basketball). I really want to go to college," Brooker said. "I'm motivated now. I know I can do something. It's just, this is just the beginning. That's how I feel."

Hopefully it really is.

n Jon Gerardi covers boys basketball for The Daily Item. Email comments or questions to Follow him on Twitter at

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