Commitment Roundup

Mike Broghammer and his Hopkins High teammates accomplished something this season, that people will be talking about in the Minnetonka barber shops and pubs for many years to come.

The future Notre Dame forward helped lead the Royals to the first-ever undefeated state championship in the history of Minnesota's large class. It was the school's sixth-ever class-AAAA title.

"It's a great feeling to accomplish something like that," Mike Broghammer said. "It's hard to explain."

Playing with four other guys that are future Division-I basketball players, the 6-foot-9 Broghammer averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and a couple blocks per contest. Hopkins finished 12th nationally in ESPN Rise's final basketball poll.

Broghammer isn't the only player in the Irish's 2009 recruiting class that played on a team that finished ranked in ESPN Rise's final national poll.

Joey Brooks, a 6-foot-5 swingman from Houston (Texas) Strake Jesuit, led his team to a 37-1 record, and the 29th spot in the final poll. Brooks and his boys were ranked in the top-10 much of the season, but a loss in the state's Final Four to No. 28 De Soto, ended the team's magical season.

During the season, Brooks and Broghammer would occasionally go back and forth, about who's team was better. Impossible to truly find out, Broghammer stands by the final poll.

"I didn't rub it in on him too much," Broghammer said. "I just asked him one time what they ended up being ranked. That was about it."

Regardless, Brooks averaged over 22 points and eight rebounds per contest, winning several Player of the Year awards, and helping his school make history as well.

"Even though it didn't end the way we wanted it to, it's kind of hard after we lost, of course I was upset, but to put things in perspective, we did things, we made history, being the first private school to make it to state championships in Texas state history," Brooks explained. "You can't really judge the outcome of a season on one game, but 37-1 was a great season. We would've rather been 39-0, but you have to move on and learn from it."

Brooks saw his amazing prep career end as an All-American at the Capitol Classic in Washington D.C. Past players like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul have played in the game. Brooks struggled in the April contest, scoring two points, with a rebound and a steal in 13 minutes, but the experience was great.

"I've played against most of those guys before, so I already knew I could hold my own," Brooks said. He's the first Irish recruit to play in the game since Troy Murphy. "It's similar to the game we lost. The ball wasn't really falling, I didn't shoot that well, and I think I'm the type of player that has to have chemistry with the team, because it's hard to explain, but there is a lot of things I do. I think I mesh a lot better when I'm in a system with a team, but it was still fun and it was a good experience."

Tom Knight had a great experience during his senior season, capped by Maine's Mr. Basketball Award.

"That's pretty big to me, because when I was a freshman, I saw people that won the award, and I was thinking hopefully I could do the same thing," Knight explained. "I didn't think I would."

The 6-foot-9 Knight netted 22.4 points and 11.1 boards and 3.5 blocks per contest, leading Dirigo High to the state championship game for the first time in 20 years. The Cougars came up short against Calais in the Class C title tilt, 40-39.

"Even thought it stinks that we lost, I'm still glad we made it," Knight said.

Health got in the way of what Jack Cooley was truly trying to accomplish as a senior, but the Glenbrook South (Glenview, Ill.) standout still had a positive experience.

A torn ligament in the 6-foot-8 Cooley's thumb cost him eight games of the season, but he able to return two games prior to the state tournament. In his absence, the Titans lost six of eight games.

"We beat the No. 2 seed in our sectional," Cooley said of the second-round victory. He averaged over 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks per game. "Then the next game we lost to the No. 3 seed. It was kind of bad. The team we actually lost to was Notre Dame high school, which is kind of ironic.

"I think the season went pretty well besides the injury. It would've been a great season if I hadn't got injured, but it was a good way to end it. When we had our full team, a lot of things went our way, and it was fun and I really enjoyed it."

Now, the four future Notre Dame players are looking forward to enrolling into school. Summer school begins on June 22nd, and the four incoming freshmen are looking to help the Irish return to the NCAA tournament.

"As far as the four guys we're bringing in next year, I think we bring toughness, and a lot of intangibles that they were not necessarily lacking, but that we can help with," Brooks said. "I know we're bringing in three tough big dudes that can hit the glass hard and rebound, and that was missing this year. As far as what I bring to the table, an athletic slasher that gets to the basket, and athletic defender that is bigger on the perimeter."

Knight pointed to rebounding and added depth as ways his class can help the Irish program. Cooley and Broghammer agree.

"I shoot in front of my house, and sometimes I stay after school and shoot around with my high school coach," Cooley said. "Either we'll run there, or I go to the athletic trainer at school. I just want to keep working out as much as I can.

"Me and Joey have been talking about how we're going to work our hardest to get in the best shape we can get, and get as good as we can, to help our team as much as possible."

"I can speak for everybody and say we're all working hard," Broghammer stated. "I know I'm lifting, trying to get better, and hopefully we can bring in a force that no one is expecting."


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