Boogie Brozoski has found a balance between greatness and humility.
Yes, Lauren Brozoski already has the talent, the nickname and a bright future in basketball, but the Long Island Lutheran sophomore point guard tries not to let any of that go to her head. She remains relentless in her attempt to be the best while her work does all the talking.
"If you ask anybody, I don't go around telling people, 'Oh, I had 30 points this game or I'm the nicest on Long Island, I'm the best in New York.' I'm humble. I'm a normal person," Brozoski said. "I'm usually the last one in the gym, staying after practice to work on my game a little bit because there's always someone coming after me, trying to go out and work on their game . . . So I have to keep improving so I can stay out on top."
That's the attitude that Long Island Lutheran coach Rich Slater believes makes Brozoski the top player on Long Island, and one of the best in the country within her class.
"Her drive, her determination, her passion makes her so special," Slater said. "I just think she plays harder than everyone else. She competes harder, she hates to lose, her work ethic is second to none and she's coachable. She wants to improve her game every day."
Brozoski, 15, has captured the attention of girls basketball followers throughout the country. She already has received interest from Division I programs such as Michigan, Hofstra and St. John's. And her game still is evolving.
Slater said Brozoski has added a consistent mid-range jumper to her already outstanding quickness, ballhandling ability and three-point shot. Brozoski is averaging close to 23 points and five assists for 6-0 LuHi this season.
"She's starting to understand that at her size [5-5], it'll be harder for her to get to the basket, so her mid-range game sets her apart from other really good players," Slater said. "Her mid-range pull-up is a college pull-up, and she's only a sophomore."
Brozoski has a number of long-term personal goals -- making the U-16 national team this year and becoming a McDonald's All-American as a senior. But winning a state Federation championship is her top priority.
Last season she led the Crusaders to the state Federation Class B final but shot 3-for-17 in a 10-point loss to Irvington in which LuHi was outscored by 13 in the fourth quarter.
The year before, as an eighth-grader, Brozoski also helped lead LuHi to the final, but she broke a pelvic bone early in the fourth quarter and learned from a hospital bed that her team had come from behind to win the title.
"The first time , I was happy but a little disappointed. I was out in the hospital getting minute-by-minute scores . . . And last year I felt like we got a little too comfortable at halftime," Brozoski said. "It's definitely something that's driving me."
In order for LuHi to go all the way, Slater said, Brozoski must sacrifice some of her modest approach and make what he sees as the biggest improvement in her game -- becoming a vocal leader on the court.
Slater described what he expects of Brozoski while watching her and her teammates run a fast-paced, full-court shooting drill at practice last Monday in which the object was for the team to score 175 points in five minutes.
The group got to 168.
"Right now, this is just a drill, but Boogie's [upset] because we're not going to get to 175 points, and I need her to be in people's faces," Slater said. "As a point guard, you need to be opinionated, and she's getting better . . . but once she gets there, she'll get closer to her goals."