Besides being the best players for their respective teams, Hofstra's Boogie Brozoski and Justin Wright-Foreman have something else in common.
Both basketball stars hail from Queens.
Brozoski grew up in Cambria Heights, while Wright-Foreman is from Laurelton, about two miles away.
Brozoski said she’s known Wright-Foreman “forever” and admires the way he plays after growing up near one another and attending rival high schools for a time.
“His work ethic, his commitment to being better than everyone on the court is just something I really look up to,” Brozoski said Wednesday at Hofstra basketball media day. “He was player of the year last year for a reason, and I’m looking to become player of the year this year. So just following in his footsteps, working out with him, getting in the gym. He’s just a great person all around, on and off the court. His off the court mentality shines on the court, and his on the court mentality shines off the court.”
The respect is mutual.
“She’s a heady point guard,” Wright-Foreman said of Brozoski. “She’s smart, shifty, and she’s just a great overall player, plays both sides of the ball, works extremely hard, gets her shots up every day, always in the gym, so she’s just a hard worker.”
Brozoski, who transferred to Hofstra from Michigan during her sophomore year, and Wright-Foreman nearly starred opposite one another in high school before landing at Hofstra together.
Wright-Foreman played his first two years of high school basketball at Christ the King in Middle Village before transferring to the High School of Construction in Ozone Park.
Brozoski considered Christ the King before ultimately landing at Long Island Lutheran for high school.
“Pretty much every little girl’s dream in Queens is to go to Christ the King because of the name,” Brozoski told Newsday in 2014 while a senior at Lutheran.
But after a bad experience at a tryout with a team affiliated with Christ the King and meeting Lutheran girls basketball coach Rich Slater, Brozoski said she decided on LuHi.
Both Hofstra basketball coaches have taken notice of the other’s star player.
“I wish I could see Boogie more, but I love what I see,” men’s basketball coach Joe Mihalich said. “And I love her off the floor as well. She’s a fabulous person. She just lights up the room. She’s always got a big smile for you. She’s got a great sense of humor and a great personality, and I think she’s a terrific player.”
After his interview, Mihalich joked with Brozoski that she should play point guard for him.
Women’s basketball coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey, who’s not one to run out of things to say, was at a loss for words when asked about Wright-Foreman.
“Oh my god, just, when I’m stumped for words, coaches are never stumped for words, right? He’s just a prolific scorer,” she said. “He’s a game-changer. I mean, how many last second shots did he hit last year?
“One of the biggest things about Justin is if they have an off day, I hear somebody dribbling the ball outside my door over here, out here in the practice facility, and when we get done at 4, he comes in . . . So that’s what I tell my players: you want to be good, you know, everything looks good on the paper, everything looks good in theory, but what are you doing? So not only has he shown how good he can be, and then now look what he’s doing on a day in and day out basis. We’re in a time where everybody’s like, ‘How many hours a week?’ all this kind of stuff. Justin’s like, ‘I want to be a baller. I want to be one of the best players in the nation, and this is what it’s going to take.’ So he definitely exemplifies that, and I use his actions and his efforts with my players all the time.”