March 22, 2011

McBroom ready to compete at PG in 2011

Central Michigan picked up a monumental commitment a little over a month ago when they secured a verbal commitment from Campbell Hall (Cali.) point guard Austin McBroom. McBroom was a key commitment for many reasons, namely he fills a huge void at the point guard position and he brings a sorely needed shooting touch from the outside. And not only are the Chippewas getting a terrific basketball prospect, they are getting a terrific athlete. In addition to being one of the top point guards in California, McBroom was also a standout shortstop in baseball, and an electric running back in football.

Not many high school athletes can say they had the opportunity to be a Division 1 athlete in football and basketball, but that was exactly the case for McBroom. As a senior he ran for 500 yards and 7 touchdowns as he averaged over 10 yards per carry, while catching 36 passes for 706 yards and 6 touchdowns as a receiver. In hoops, McBroom averaged 25.1 points, 4 assists and 3.5 rebounds as he led the Vikings into the playoffs for the fourth straight year. But, despite his impressive numbers on the gridiron, basketball eventually won out, and the Chippewas were the lucky beneficiary of his decision.

"I chose CMU for a couple of reasons. First I played with when I was a freshman in California, when he was still here while his dad was an assistant at UCLA, and I know what type of player his is. I think we can be a really good backcourt. And then the coaches were recruiting me as a point guard and I will have the opportunity to make an impact early. I know right now Trey is playing point guard a lot, and that's out of position for him. He's more of a guard or wing, and I came in I would be able to let him move to his more natural position."

And it's that relationship with Trey that helped CMU land McBroom.

"We have a great relationship, we still talk from time to time and we call each other to talk about basketball and life. He would always let me know who they were playing before games, and we have just stayed in touch ever since he moved."

McBroom chose CMU over offers from San Diego, Hawaii and UC-Davis. Recruiting interest didn't pick up for him until late in the process, but that didn't cause him to have any ill will at all.

"They say everything happens for a reason, but I don't think I have a chip on my shoulder or anything. But if I'm playing a school that maybe overlooked me, I will definitely want to play and make them regret taking someone else over me."

And recently McBroom was able to make his official visit to Mount Pleasant, and a chance to make an early impact at CMU was something he and the coaching staff were able to discuss.

"It went well, they had me on a schedule and I was there from Friday to Saturday. I met everyone, met the team and went to a game. Overall it was real good," said McBroom. "They said I will have a chance to earn the starting point guard position, so I just plan on coming in with the mindset that I'm going to compete with the other guards for that role. I'm more of a pure point guard, I like to make the team better and be a distributor, but I can score if I need to."

And score he has done in his career. A four year starter at point guard for the Vikings, McBroom increased his scoring average every year. From 7.5 to 15.5 as a freshman and sophomore, to 22.5 and 25.1 as a junior and senior, there is no doubt McBroom will leave quite a legacy at Campbell Hall. From starting as a freshman point guard, leading his team to a state title and scoring 30 points on 10-16 shooting in the title game, to playing with numerous Division 1 players and a current NBA player.

"Oh man," paused McBroom when asked to reflect on his career. "Well first off it all started when my parents wanted me to go to a different school. I didn't go to school in the area I lived, and my parents really wanted me to go to school in The Valley and get a great education. I was looking at schools like Harvard Westlake and Campbell Hall, and eventually we chose Campbell Hall because of their great academics and athletics. I was able to play with [db]Jrue Holliday as a freshman and really challenge myself, and he's in the NBA now. But my freshman year we won the state title, and we made deep playoff runs my sophomore and junior years. And last season we made playoffs too, and I can't help but look back and see all the great players I had a chance to play with."

There is no doubt CMU picked up a great player, and McBroom also alleviated any doubt that he will be playing anywhere else besides CMU.

"Nope, nothing could change my mind, I'm 100% committed."

And it's a good thing, McBroom will have a chance to come in and play immediately while boosting the talent level of the Chippewas backcourt. It's often an overused phrase to say a program picked up a terrific player, but in the case of McBroom, there is no more truthful way to put it then the Chipppewas picked up a great player.

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