Marsh on Brockman

While certainly debateable, I believe the recruitment of Jon Brockman to Washington started on March 9, 2002. In that game, the Garfield Bulldogs, led by then Washington commit Brandon Roy, took out the Snohomish Panthers 71-70 for fourth place in the Class 4A tournament.

Sure, Brockman's sister Kirsten was already at UW in 2002, attending classes and playing basketball for the women's team. But when you're in 9th grade - and a boy to boot - who is thinking about going to school where your older sister goes? Yuck. But the game Jon played on March 9th just might have started him thinking about the purple and gold a little bit harder.

"Yeah, he impressed me when he went out and scored 38 on us," Brockman told about his future teammate after his press conference Tuesday, where he verbally committed to play for Lorenzo Romar and the Huskies. Ever since, it's been Brockman who has been putting the hurt on the opposition.

"They are getting the best power forward in the country," said Friends of Hoop Seattle Head Coach Jim Marsh, who has coached Brockman the past few years during the summer AAU circuit. "At his position, he's the very best high school player out there.

"What makes him unique is that, out of every one-hundred possessions in a game, he'll play hard in every one of them. One-hundred out of one-hundred. Not ninety-eight, not fifty-four or thirteen, but one-hundred. That makes him unique. He plays so hard, it's like wherever he's headed on the court, it's like he's headed downhill. And he goes all-out to the basket. And he was fortunate to have Mitch Johnson finding him. He'll rebound, block a shot, and then fill the lane and either dunk it or tap it in."

He even gave the recruiting process one-hundred percent effort, even if at times he was reluctant to do so. Right after an official visit to Duke, Jon took a week off from the phone calls and the media requests just to clear his head and get his mind straight on his eventual decision. It was time well-spent. "It wasn't that I didn't like it, I just would rather be playing than talking," Brockman said of the process, matter-of-factly. "That's just me."

Marsh knows about about Brockman as a player and as a person. "He is a beaut," Marsh said. "I'd put him at my dinner table any day of the week. He's an awesome kid, and Mitch is the same way and Martell (Webster) is the same way. So I was lucky to have those three kids."

So what will the Huskies see, come the fall of 2005? "He's an athletic Paul Silas, in that he's the best offensive rebounder by planetary systems, in high school," said Marsh. "That means he works hard every possession. He gets it up and down and can shoot it, which is something Paul struggled with. But in terms of playing hard, that's the player that comes to my mind."

Both Marsh and Brockman understand that, while Jon is arguably the biggest-name recruit Washington has ever received a commitment from, he's a long ways from reaching the zenith of his development. "He needs to improve his perimeter game and he's doing that as we speak," Marsh said. "He's going to be a big matchup problem outside and inside."

"We've been coming in before school and really working on my outside game and ballhandling," added Brockman. "That way I can be a 3 and a 4 instead of a 4 and a 5."

Marsh's Friends of Hoop Seattle team was the toast of this summer's AAU circuit, winning the prestigious Nike Main Event tournament in Las Vegas at the end of July. During that time, Brockman had the opportunity to play against a couple of players that will be his teammates at UW in a year - PG Justin Dentmon and F/C Artem Wallace. Brockman spoke about both players.

"I played with Dentmon during an open gym, and while it was hard to see from just one day, I was still impressed," said Brockman. "And Artem, he was one of the better players I went up against this summer. He's real physical, not afraid to get in there and bang. I respect Artem with everything."

Fast-forward a few months to this past Tuesday. Jon Brockman ducks into the Snohomish High School gym, getting ready to announce his college intentions. "I didn't know who was going to be here," he said. "When I got here I went straight to the back room, so I kept asking people who was here, how many people are here. When I came out, it kind of surprised me a little bit.

"I didn't think it would be like this, ever."

The hundred or so supporters cheered on enthusiastically, as Brockman decided to stay home and play for the hometown Huskies, eschewing an opportunity to play for Duke, 'a machine', as described by Brockman himself.

At the end of an exhaustive media session, Brockman was reduced to trite one-liners. What else was there to say that hadn't already been dissected, analyzed, and drawn out to a slow, painful death? "I'm just excited to play at Hec Ed and be a Husky," was all he said. It was all that needed to be said.

"It's going to be special to be able to drive across 520 and get to the game and see Jon play," added Marsh.

Didn't Marsh forget Martell Webster? Oh wait, that's for another press conference... Top Stories