Archbishop Ryan graduate Izaiah Brockington bet on himself and won big.
Back in April, the 6-foot-4 guard decommitted from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, which plays basketball in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and planned to spend a year in prep school.
Tuesday, however, Brockington announced via Overtime that he will attend St. Bonaventure and play in the Atlantic 10 this coming season.
“I just felt like it was the best situation for me,” said Brockington, who led the Raiders to semifinal berths in the Catholic League and PIAA Class 6A playoffs. “When I thought about what I wanted in a school, this school and this team seemed to meet everything. The fact that it came before I even went to prep school, it was just exciting. I had to think about it and not let this opportunity go by.”
Brockington, a lefty with elite quickness, speed, agility and leaping ability, said he felt pressured by friends and family to commit to NJIT last season and called it, “a decision I really didn’t make for myself.”
Success on the AAU circuit with We-R1 certainly improved his recruiting stock.
His stepfather, Noisette St. Jean Jr., said Brockington was appreciated the staffs from Yale, Brown, La Salle, Kennesaw State, Robert Morris, Towson and others who were also interested.
Ultimately, however, Brockington said he bonded with St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt and assistant coach Dwayne Lee, who played at St. Joseph’s from 2002 to 2006.
St. Jean said Brockington was told by Schmidt and staff members that he would have the opportunity to contribute as a freshman and could step into a larger role as a sophomore.
Perhaps more importantly, Brockington seemed satisfied that he made the decision on his own terms.
“I’ve learned to make decisions based on how I feel and based on facts that are presented to me,” he said. “I’ve learned what I really wanted out of basketball as a whole, what I really wanted in a school and what I wanted to see from a university personally.”
In addition to recent AAU success, his breakout senior season at Ryan – which included stellar performances against more ballyhooed recruits – boosted Brockington’s confidence.
Brockington regularly guarded opponents’ best players and was also responsible for the bulk of Ryan’s scoring and playmaking. He led the Raiders (23-6) in scoring (18.7 points), assists (3.1) and steals (2.1).
In a PCL semifinal loss to eventual champion Archbishop Wood and Villanova-bound star Collin Gillespie, Brockington scored 31 points before fouling out with about three minutes left.
In the PIAA semifinals against eventual champion Lonnie Walker (headed to Miami) and Reading, Brockington scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half. He also had a 24-point game against Neumann-Goretti, which was led by Kentucky-bound senior Quade Green.
As a byproduct of what he has called his growth in confidence and maturity, it appears Brockington has also learned his recipe for success.
“It was just confidence in myself and the work that I’ve put in,” he said. “I’ve had to work for everything I’ve had, and it paid dividends. Even throughout high school, from not playing as a freshman and then working hard and starting as a sophomore, working and having the confidence to show what you’ve worked on … that’s never really steered me wrong in life.
“I just thank God that it happened in the first place. Everybody has their own journey. Everything that happened was supposed to, and I was supposed to take a lesson from [it all]. The journey is not over. But this is definitely a good start for a new chapter.”