Brawley the Niles go-to guyPublished 4:58pm Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This year’s Niles boys basketball team is a combination of juniors and seniors with a sophomore mixed in for good measure.
If the Vikings are going to be successful, they will more than likely turn to the four seniors on the roster.
One of those seniors, Tate Brawley, will more often than not be the go-to man when Niles needs a big bucket and the one the younger players turn to for leadership.
“He’s shown good leadership skills this year,” Niles coach Todd Pawielski said. “We are lucky to have a good senior class. As a group they are doing the right things to make sure we are doing the right things as a team.”
Brawley, who was brought up for the state tournament his sophomore year, averaged 11 points per game last year for the Vikings. He was an honorable mention All-West Division selection.
“He is a terrific shooter when his feet are set,” Pawielski said. “It usually goes in. He also does a decent job of posting up and rebounding the basketball and he is a much better passer than people give him credit for.”
One of the things that the Niles staff has worked on with Brawley is his ball handling skills. Pawielski said that he would be an even better basketball player if he spent more time in the gym.
“He’s a baseball player,” he said. “That’s his best sport. He has a chance to play Division 1 baseball.”
Even though he has to split time between the two sports, you can usually find Brawley working out in a gym.
“Tate and the rest of the seniors played with us in June and they have done a good job of being committed,” Pawielski said. “Tate and a couple of other kids have done 12, four-man workouts with me. He loves being in the gym. I have to kick him out every day.”
Brawley is also a good student who doesn’t show a lot of emotion on the court.
“He played with a little more passion than people think,” Pawielski said. “He plays hard and for us to be successful, he has to shoot the ball a lot. But if he only had to take two shots for us to win, he would be fine with that, too.”
Brawley and the Vikings will try to pick up their first win of the season tonight when they host Benton Harbor in a Big 16 West Division contest.
The Vikings are 0-1 in West after falling to Mattawan in the season opener Friday night. Brawley had 12 points in the loss.