Road Show: Brady Morningstar

Not much was expected of Lawrence (KS) Free State this season, but thanks to a season long team effort spearheaded by senior guard Brady Morningstar the Firebirds took an 18-3 record into Leavenworth (KS) on Friday night. On the line in their matchup against Leavenworth was a trip to next week's class 6A state championships.<br>

In front of a nice crowd that included Kansas senior -- and former Leavenworth standout --Wayne Simien; Brady Morningstar led Free State to a tough 50-47 win and proved why he’s the best senior in the state of Kansas.

MORNINGSTAR A HIGH MAJOR

Looking at Brady Morningstar it is hard to imagine that he is much of a ball player. With his closely cropped hair, baby face and pasty skin, Morningstar could pass for a 14 year old. Any notions that he can’t play are dismissed as soon as he takes the court and immediately takes total control of the game.

That was the case in Leavenworth on Friday night as the 6-3 ½ PG set the tone early in Free State’s sub-state final. After a beautiful no look dish to a teammate for an early score, Morningstar came up with a steal and raced to the other end of the court and launched himself off of one foot from the low block. Leavenworth’s 6-9 senior center Matt King had hustled back to make a play but Morningstar surprised everyone in the building when he cocked the ball back in his right hand and kept elevating.

Although a hard foul from King caused Morningstar’s attempted circus dunk to rattle out of the rim, it was clear that Morningstar had sent a message to the entire gym. He was playing for keeps and wasn’t going conceding anything with a state trip on the line.

At the half, Morningstar had scored 12 points, dished out three assists and had a pair each of rebounds and steals as Free State took a 24-18 lead.

In the second half Leavenworth responded with a quick 10-0 run to start the third quarter and controlled the game until almost midway through the fourth quarter. That’s when Morningstar took the game over again.

During the final moments Morningstar came from out of nowhere to pin a Leavenworth player’s open-court layup off of the glass. He hit a go ahead 17 foot jumper from the baseline and sank pair of free throws to help ice the 50-47 victory.

For the evening, Morningstar led all scorers with 18 points (8-15 FG’s, 2-6 FT’s), five assists, five rebounds, two steals a block and only one turnover.

More Notes- You simply won’t find a player who has a better feel for the game and the ability to make everybody around him better. He handles the ball, is an explosive athlete, makes the easy and tough passes with regularity and understands how to play defense. You can see that his newfound athleticism has bugged his jumper a little but he’s still an above average shooter with a ton of arch and rotation on his shot.

In the building to watch Morningstar was an assistant coach from San Diego University. Accompanying him was Desoto (KS) High standout Danny Brown a 6-4 WG who has already committed to play there next year. Brown played AAU ball with Morningstar and was there to help make a pitch for USD.

Other schools that are making a play for Morningstar include Creighton, Wichita State, Colorado State, Butler, Portland, and LaSalle. There is also a chance that he could end up at Prep School next season and if that happens, and he continues to improve at the rate he’s improved at, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him end up playing in the Big 12 or ACC. As a matter of fact, schools like N.C. State and Baylor may get involved sooner or later and Morningstar could be a high major prospect right now.

There wasn’t a more vocal fan in the building than Wayne Simien. The Kansas senior cheered for every Leavenworth basket and spent much of his time encouraging the Leavenworth faithful to join him in supporting the Pioneers.

  • Total games seen- 143
  • Total teams seen- 133
  • Total miles traveled- 10,778

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