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BobZag
06-13-2007, 02:04 PM
With permission from, and thanks to--
Lynnette Hintze (The Daily InterLake)

Work ethic and smarts

In the Montana high school ranks, there are plenty of tall kids playing basketball. They catch the eyes of fans and spark gossip about D-I (NCAA Division I). Most wonít go far, even with their God-given attributes. But a few, and maybe even less than that, will continue on to bigger and better things.

Their secret?

Work ethic and mentality ó neither of which are natural talents.

Flatheadís Brock Osweiler is one of the few.

Heís not overly athletic, says an Internet scouting company called rivals.com ó which diagnosed him after last summerís Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis. (Geez, I guess 360-degree slam dunks and 50-yard touchdown passes out of an all-state quarterback donít get you anywhere nowadays.)

But Brock takes it in stride.

ďI can see where they said that,Ē he said. ďYouíve got guys jumping out of the gym at that event. I can admit that Iím not overly athletic. Itís the truth. I need to work on my athletic ability. But Iím different because I can play with those kind of guys using my basketball IQ.Ē
That IQ not only helps him with split-second decisions in games, but in preparation ... And not in just game preparation, but career preparation.
Heís currently putting in overtime working out with Phil Jackson (no, not THAT Phil Jackson) at The Summit with strength conditioning and weight lifting. Jackson, who played football at Helena High, was recently hired by new FHS football coach Russell McCarvel as the Bravesí offensive line coach.
ďIím up to 230 pounds now,Ē said the 6-foot-8 11th grader-to-be.

But thatís not all heís doing.

Heís putting even more overtime in ó along with teammate Jake Thiesen ó working on plyometrics, a type of exercise that uses explosive movements to develop muscular power on both the musculotendinous and neurological levels, with Kelson Ramey (of Boulder) at The Summit.
ďIím in my fifth week of doing the plyometrics and Iíve increased my vertical jump three inches in three weeks,Ē Osweiler said. ďIíve noticed it with some pretty big dunks. Iím pretty pumped about that. Iím getting quicker.Ē
But thatís not all heís been doing.
High school hoops season ended in February for most, and March for state tourney teams. That was the last time most prep ballers touched a basketball.

But not Brock.

Since that time, heís been playing AAU U-17 ball. Heís traveled as far as Houston, Portland and Las Vegas putting his time in on the hardcourt. He did the same thing last year, playing for a team out of Washington ó the Yakima Elite. He got to spend three days in the Flathead Valley last summer because he was so busy.

This spring, though, one of about 30 Nike-sponsored teams got their paws on him ó the Portland (Ore.) Legends. Itís the same team UCLA signee Kevin Love played for last year. Osweiler averaged a double-double throughout three 250-team tournaments. His game highs were 29 points and 24 rebounds.
ďYou learn each week a different way to step up your game against the best players in the nation,Ē Osweiler said. ďItís an unreal experience.Ē
In a week, the future Gonzaga Bulldog, who sent ripples around the nation last June as one of the youngest recruits to commit to a college (just after his freshman year), will get to showcase his new skills at the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis. The event comprises 130 of Americaís top underclassmen and throws them all into a gym for 48 hours with countless scouts scribbling as many notes as possible on every athlete.
Last year, rivals.com ranked Osweiler the seventh-best forward prospect at the event.

ďThis event is right up there towards the top of all events,Ē Osweiler said. ďThe McDonaldís All-American voters will be there. Itís everything you work for. You get to play against the top players from all around the country and recruiters sit up there all day long writing notes on everything you do.
ďIím not nervous. Last year I was the youngest age there. Now I know what to expect. You play in front of Coach K (Krzyzewski) and Lute Olsen and you walk by them all the time. But it will just be another game for me. Iíll just go down there and wonít back down to anybody and show them what I can do.Ē
But the best thing about listening to this 15-year-old, which even enlightens this 30-something-year-old, is the thing he mentions most. Itís not Gonzaga. Itís not the NBA. Itís winning a state championship for Flathead.

TheZagPhish
06-13-2007, 03:07 PM
Very cool! I think we're about to take it to a whole 'nother level. Thanks for the post.

ZagNative
06-13-2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks for posting the whole story, BZ. I know there was a story last year in that paper that was online for a while but then disappeared. Nice to have it posted in full here, where I'm "sure" it will remain in Zag perpetuity.

Got to love Brock. We passed through Kalispell recently and stopped to stroll for a while. What a neat little town. If anyone passes through that part of the country, be sure to take a walk through some of the old tree-shaded residential neighborhoods, especially the one where the historical society has posted markers giving histories of the homes, most not palatial, but with undeniable charm. We visited with a kid doing yard work who was a big fan and friend of Brock's.

Lookin' forward to seeing Brock in the 'Kan and on the court in a couple of years.

gonzagulous
06-13-2007, 04:15 PM
Wow, no wonder he committed early... This kid is 100% Zag material.

Bocco
06-13-2007, 04:16 PM
His game highs were 29 points and 24 rebounds.

But the best thing about listening to this 15-year-old, which even enlightens this 30-something-year-old, is the thing he mentions most. Itís not Gonzaga. Itís not the NBA. Itís winning a state championship for Flathead.

BZ thanks for the post. If he can average just half of those points and rebounds in college, I'll be happy. He sounds like one day he will be one of the players whose name will be used to define what it is to be a Zag.

CDC84
06-14-2007, 01:32 PM
The best part about Brock for me is his attitude. He is real competitor folks. This kid has a chance one day to become a more talented version of Casey Calvary. At the time that he verbaled to Gonzaga, one of the guys who scouted him the most was Izzo at Michigan State. That tells me something, because Izzo puts a premium on toughness in his players.