"It's All About The Game"
Braswell is Pressing On
Ron Bailey, Publisher
September 25, 2008 – Some people deemed Chris Braswell’s early summer de-commitment from Georgetown a mistake, a decision bound to somehow diminish not only his recruiting profile, but likelihood of college degree attainment. They were wrong. Big time.
“Everything is going good” said the Class of 2009’s Braswell via telephone this evening. “I can’t complain”. That’s an understatement, across the board.
First off he’s making serious noise at Hargrave Military Academy off the hardwood, having attained the rank of lieutenant, a designation that brings serious responsibility. “I have to keep everybody in check” half-joked Chris: As a military school, Hargrave tasks student leaders with functioning as officers do in the armed services, which of course is replete with responsibility.
Chris Braswell (34), here with shooting a jump hook in Capitol Classic play on his motivation to work hard: "I know there is another person working harder than me".
That leadership is also demanded by the school’s post graduate coach, Kevin Keatts in relation to the hoops squad, as Braswell is team captain, an honor the 6’8”, 230 pound forward described as extending “on and off the floor”.
Part of being a captain is leading by example, which in Chris’ case includes continuing to striving for improve. “I’m working on my post moves” said the native of Seat Pleasant, MD when asked of his development plan. “And my 15 footers and even three pointers. Coach Keatts has me being a true shooter this year in addition to playing around the rim”.
All that work as a player and young man has colleges drooling. “My top five are Xavier, Charlotte, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Indiana” shared Braswell. “They are all equal to me right now”.
While he hasn’t visited Charlotte or Virginia Tech, college-provided trips to Xavier and Maryland have been undertaken.
“It was good, they treated me well” recalled Braswell of his recent tour of Xavier. “I met Coach Miller and the team”. What impressed Chris the most of that private school located in Cincinnati, OH was its academic pedigree, which includes “graduating 73 straight basketball players” as well as “small class size”, which he values for the personal attention afforded.
Being the flagship university of the Free State, Maryland is not known for its diminutive classes with an enrollment of over 36,000 at its College Park location. Nevertheless Braswell noted “I can adjust to the class size”, thereby holding no reservations about becoming a Terp. Officially visiting Maryland last weekend, Chris shared “Coach Gary Williams is a good dude…When I unofficialed (took a tour not sponsored the school) last year, I didn’t get to see as much as I did this time. It’s a pretty big campus”.
In less than 24 hours, Chris will be back in the Midwest, checking out another school. “I’m going to Indiana tomorrow” he informed. “Me and Maurice Creek (a fellow Class of 2009 Hargrave student-athlete and Prince George’s, Maryland resident who has already committed to the Hoosiers).”
Does Creek want Braswell to enroll in I.U.? “Everyday he’s trying to recruit me” laughed Chris of Maurice’s efforts. “Moe puts a big push on me”.
This being his second year at Hargrave, one may assume Chris gets homesick, but he doesn’t, as with school and travel team ball (Triple Threat/Team Takeover), being away from the familiar, including his mother Lesa and grandmother,Christine, is old hat.
But Braswell does have strong roots, including to Seat Pleasant, where he learned the game along with the likes of Kevin Durant and Mike Beasley, number two picks in the two most recent National Basketball Association Drafts. Braswell also noted Chris McRay – the former Maryland guard who is playing internationally - and Charlie Bell – previously a standout at Loyola (MD) also have recently hailed from the area.
“I’ve come a long way out of Seat Pleasant” an economically diverse bedroom community outside of Washington, D.C said Chris. “It can be rough, but I have love for it”. He was also quick to shout out “Chucky” (Charles Craig), a man instrumental in his overall development that transcended several years ago, as well as others like “Stink” (Torrace Brown), who is known for tutoring players in the Seat Pleasant Recreation Center.
It’s clear the grounded, hardworking Braswell will not be denied.
He’s still pressing on.
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