The Archbishop Ryan grad never expected to start his basketball career so soon.
Izaiah Brockington thought he was going to have to wait a year to officially start his college basketball career.
Turns out he has to wait only a few more weeks.
Brockington, who graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School in June and guided the Raiders to the Catholic League and PIAA Class 6A playoffs, recently committed to St. Bonaventure University, where he’ll continue his basketball career. Instead of playing for prep school Woodstock Academy, he’ll be leaving for Allegany, New York.
“Ever since they offered, I knew I wanted to go there,” Brockington said. “They were open to me coming this year and I was open to it. At first I was leaning towards going to Woodstock for a year, but this is exactly where I want to be and they seemed excited to get me. I’m really excited about playing there.”
Bonnies fans should be excited, too.
Brockington leaves Ryan with an impressive resume.
The all-time leading scorer in school history led the Raiders to the Palestra during his junior year, and they returned this year to the semifinals.
After the Catholic League portion of the season was over, Brockington and his teammates enjoyed a magical run that ended one game before the championship game.
Brockington led Ryan in scoring in each of the past three seasons and this year he became one of the top defenders in the Catholic League, and in most games, he would draw the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player.
As his defense improved, so did his scholarship offers. Other than St. Bonaventure, he received offers from La Salle, Hartford, Yale, Towson, Kennesaw State, Robert Morris, Brown and Wyoming.
“St. Bonaventure is great because they’ve had so many great players go through the program, they’ve had guys go to the NBA, they’ve had lot of guys who went on to do big things,” said Brockington, who averaged close to 19 points per game as a senior. “The (Atlantic 10) is a great conference. I’m going to get to come home to play (St. Joe’s) and La Salle, and I’m going to play against the best players in the country.”
The Bonnies finished 20–12 last year, 11–7 in conference play.
“After my visit, I knew this was where I wanted to be,” Brockington said. “A few years ago, they had a guy go to the NBA. Andrew Nicholson, he was drafted. Someday, I would like to play pro ball, and playing there will give me an opportunity.”
Brockington plans on going in there and getting on the court as soon as possible.
It’s tough to make the jump from high school to Division I, and he knows that there is still plenty of work to do. He’s ready for it.
This summer, he was co-MVP of the Donofrio Tournament, and he led his squad to the championship.
And while he’s no longer at Ryan, he’ll always be a Raider.
“With Izaiah, I knew we could set the highest of expectations right away because it was easy to see what we had in our best player,” said Ryan coach Joe Zeglinski, who coached Brockington the past two seasons. “He was the hardest worker and a great teammate.
“Izaiah took it to another level this year and would not let the team settle for anything less than what we were capable of.
“It is the combination of his athletic ability, hard work and great attitude that makes him a special kid and what pushes his teammates to follow his lead.”
He’s had that same attitude since graduation, and he’s going to keep it heading into college. That work will continue before he heads to New York.
“The big thing I have to do now is just get ready and work out,” Brockington said. “I’ll keep playing and I’ll work out with my friends who haven’t left for college yet. I think I’m leaving around Aug. 26 or 27, so I still have some time to get work in.
“I play as much as possible. I want to be ready when I get there.”
He’s ready to play.
But he’s not completely ready to be on his own.
“I’m going to have to get some of my mom’s recipes before I leave,” said Brockington, who will major in business. “I’ll have to learn how she makes French toast, pork chops, everything, chicken. Everything but cereal, I know how to make that.”
If he doesn’t get the crash course in cooking, he probably doesn’t have much to worry about.
His family won’t be far away.
“Everyone is excited,” Brockington said. “My family is excited, I’m excited. It’s a great school and a great program. And I’ll play some games in Philly. It’s the perfect situation.” ••