Sunday, August 31, 2003

Moeller's Brackman mulls playing 2 sports in college

Moeller's Andrew Brackman entered this summer as a promising recruit for a host of mid-major schools, but he has emerged as more.

He grew two inches - to 6 feet 9 - and after an outstanding performance last month at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., where he averaged 15.6 points a game, has become one of the summer's most hyped recruits.

CNN/SI called Brackman "the best player you probably have never heard about," and lists him No. 78 on its Top 100 list for the Class of 2004, one notch below Jamar Butler, the Lima Shawnee guard who reneged on his commitment to the University of Cincinnati and committed to Ohio State.

"He really elevated his recruiting to probably major," said Mark Brackman, Andrew's father.

It was exactly what Brackman, who coached his son in grade school, has been waiting for.

"That was a breakout," he said. "I knew sooner or later it would happen. His whole life I always played him with his face to the basket. He was a point guard so he could get perimeter skills. He just grew into his body. He's just a late maturer.

"What makes him so attractive is that he can face the basket at that size and shoot it. He's a perimeter player and an inside person. He gives people matchup problems."

Andrew averaged 16 points and 6.5 rebounds for Moeller's Division I state champions last year and was an Enquirer first-team all-area selection at forward.

He's also an outstanding pitcher who has a chance to be drafted by a major-league team next June, but his father says Andrew wants to try to play both basketball and baseball in college.

The top five schools on his list are Dayton, Miami University, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and Ohio State.

If he decides to play only baseball in college, his dad says he will choose between Georgia Tech and South Carolina.

Brackman, the athletic director at Hughes High School, played at UC from 1970-74 under coach Tay Baker and Gale Catlett, and coached the varsity at Hughes for 20 years.

COURT RULING: The Supreme Court's decision not to get involved in a dispute over eligibility rules for exempt college basketball tournaments, while viewed as a setback for the promoters of those tournaments, doesn't mean the NCAA has won the final battle over its rule that prevents teams from playing in more than two exempt tournaments in a four-year period. Justice John Paul Stevens last week rejected an emergency request from several promoters who had hoped to prevent the NCAA from enforcing the rule after an appeals court put on hold last month's ruling by a Columbus federal judge that said the restrictions violated federal antitrust laws. Now the issue goes back to the appeals court.

"It was a hard fight for many years," said Chris Spencer of Cincinnati-based World Wide Basketball, which conducts several exempt tournaments. "When they were granted the stay, it pretty much devastated us. Everybody in the exempted tournament business is really struggling.

"We'll get back in the appeals court in a few months, and hopefully everything will turn out."

But Spencer said it already might be too late to put on the tournaments this year. "It's going to be tough," he said.

McELROY SIGNS: Former UC guard Immanuel McElroy, the Continental Basketball Association's 2003 Rookie of the Year, has signed with the CBA's Gary Steelheads. McElroy averaged 11.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 46 regular-season games with Grand Rapids last year.



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Moeller's Brackman mulls playing 2 sports in college
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