Bostwick bounds ahead in basketball
RINER – Brooke Bostwick has demonstrated outstanding athletic skill the past year. She can’t be complacent with her run of success, though. She’s going to have to continue to polish her skills in another important area.
It’s imperative she keep working on her time management abilities. Optimum scheduling is crucial. The way she’s been going lately, she’s hardly had time to stop and smell the popcorn.
That’s too bad but understandable. She’s been the one putting on the show.
Bostwick capped a breakout season playing for the state Group A Division 1 Auburn High School volleyball team by embarking on a celestial junior season basketball campaign.
She’s listed at 5-foot-10 but looks taller. Maybe it’s just because of the way she’s been playing. For sure, she’s having a big year in the low post for the Eagles. Auburn, which is coming off back-to-back sub-.500 seasons, is a much improved 10-6 overall, 3-2 in the Three Rivers District going into Wednesday’s game at Radford. Bostwick has had a major impact on those results.
She started the week atop the Timesland lists for scoring (19.1 ppg) and rebounding (14.1 rpg). Nobody’s trying to say second-year Eagles coach Ulysses Hardy was putting pressure on his center when they had a chat before the season. He did give her marching orders, though.
“I told her long as you’re getting 15 rebounds, you’re helping us win.”
Fifteen a game? Nobody could accuse Hardy of low expectations.
Might as well throw in some double figure scoring as well.
“Coach Hardy has taught me so much it’s unbelievable,” she said. “He’s always in the gym making us work and making us compete to be the best. He definitely encouraged me to do what I can.”
Clearly, she’s obliged. No matter how her performance is deconstructed, there is no question her game has progressed immensely in just the space of a year.
“Last year, she was a freshman to the game,” Hardy said. “She was a sophomore but she didn’t play her freshman year because she’d transferred in from Christiansburg. Over the summer, she devoted herself to working out, playing basketball with the boys, and working on her game on her own.”
The difference has been apparent.
“Last year, she was playing on natural ability,” Hardy said. “Then she worked on her skill and she knows how to play.”
Starting with finding the bottom of the basket with regularity.
“I missed a lot of shots last year,” she said. “We’ve gotten in the gym and gotten a lot better. Being the center, you’ve got to finish those shots. That’s what I’ve tried to do this year.”
As big as the statistical numbers are, she hasn’t had to go it alone. Jessalyn Monday has averaged double figure scoring as well. The Eagles are also getting great senior leadership, particularly from Hannah Paredes, who is reprising the same role from Auburn’s banner volleyball season. Laren Altizer is another senior leader coming off a productive volleyball season.
It’s no coincidence that Bostwick, Paredes, and Altizer have brought the positive vibe over from volleyball. For sure, they didn’t have time to let the winning attitude fade. They won the state on a Saturday and were at basketball practice the following Monday.
Which brings up another point about Bostwick. She had another breakthrough season before volleyball last spring during outdoor track. She enjoyed a successful season as a hurdler and jumper and qualified for the state meet in the long jump. She has her sights on a return to that sport come spring, hence the urgency to manage her time well. Year-round athletics has a way of dominating a schedule.
Bostwick would like to play sports in college and is waiting to see what might develop on that front. Hardy believes she’s a college basketball prospect at some level. She will figure to play a more prominent role in volleyball next year as well with the graduation of Paredes, Altizer, and Timesland player of the year Jordan Watson. So that sport could offer college possibilities as well.
Then, if Bostwick makes as much progress in track as she has in basketball and volleyball, perhaps she could join her sister Brittany as a college track athlete. The older sister is on the team at the University of Virginia.
As far as Brooke Bostwick is concerned, it all comes back to it’s a good idea to get those time management challenges squared away sooner rather than later.
By Ray Cox
The Roanoke Times | 381-1672
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