2007-01-26 / Sports

Former BCHS Stars Step On NCAA Court

By Elio Velez

Arthur Robertson leads Post University in scoring.
Arthur Robertson leads Post University in scoring. Former Beach Channel High School basketball teammates Arthur Robertson and Michael Brockington have arrived at Post University in Bridgeport, Connecticut in totally different circumstances.

Robertson , who graduated from high school in 2004, has been a consistent performer in his three years on the Eagles. The Division II star arrived in his freshman season and has seen starter minutes ever since.

In most ballgames, the 6 foot 2 guard/forward has either lead his team in points, rebounds or in both categories. But for the first time in his three year career, his contributions are helping to guide the Eagles to a winning record.

Two consecutive losing seasons and a 4-8 slow start looked to doom Robertson and Post University.

Instead of falling down to the bottom of the East Coast Athletic Conference Standings, Post University has risen like a phoenix from the ashes.

A turnaround of good fortune commenced when Post University won a narrow 59-58 decision over Goldey- Beacom College on January 9. Since that game, Post University has been on fire winning seven straight games and improving their record to 11-8.

Robertson, who leads the team in scoring with 11 points per game and second in rebounding, does not have to carry the load. Teammates AJ Reitter, who was named the ECAC Player of the Week and Peter Lawal have been key cogs in the Eagles turnaround.

The 6 foot 2 small forward is ready to perform on the court but also in the classroom. He knows what his future holds once his college career is over and that's becoming a certified public accountant.

"It's been good. I'm just having fun in Connecticut. I got a 3.2 (GPA) last semester and I'm going into accounting," Robertson said.

"In junior high school, I knew a lot of CPA's and I got interested in it."

Michael Brockington arrived at Post University via the long route. He may be only averaging 15 minutes a game off the bench but that does not mean he is unhappy playing at the school. He's just excited for the opportunity to continue to play college basketball.

He enrolled in Mohawk Valley Community College in 2003 and graduated from the school. But the process of transferring to a four year school was a longer process than he expected.

Because he could not receive his transcripts from Mohawk in a timely fashion, Brockington could not attend a four year school in 2005 which frustrated him to no end.

"I worked a little bit and I worked on my game and relaxed. I was just trying to figure out what my plan was going to be," Brockington said.

While looking for colleges, a friend of his informed Brockington that Post University head coach Mike Donnelly may be in need for a point guard.

His former teammate Robertson also gave a good recommendation and after a few private workouts, Brockington enrolled at the school in January of 2006 and redshirted the second half of the basketball season.

Playing time may be scarce now but it is his nature to remain patient.

"Being patient helped me because I didn't want to rush myself into a situation where I didn't want to be," Brockington, whose major is Human Services, said.

"It's going good right now and I'm not complaining."

Iowa State Looks For Answers

The search for another scorer to lighten the load for Iowa State University offensive woes might lead to an answer from a Rockaway product.

Suffering lately from an outage which has led to three straight losses, Iowa State coach Greg McDermott says he is looking for another scorer to lighten the load.

Rahshon Clark might be the first candidate to alleviate the burden on offense. The former Beach Channel product scored 13.1 ppg last year but his scoring opportunities have been lessened. Newcomers Mike Taylor and Wesley Johnson have scored the bulk of the points for Iowa State, who surprised with a fast start.

But it hasn't been all roses lately for the Cyclones, who are 11-8 in the Big 12 Conference and have a game on Saturday at Oklahoma State. Three consecutive league losses in the Big 12, which include shooting only 39% from the field and last in three point percentage, may require Clark to assume more of a scoring role.

He has been delegated into becoming a defensive stopper, which was especially noticed in a 68-64 overtime loss to Kansas. In that game he played 43 minutes, but only two points in only three field goal attempts. Clark has averaged 7.9 points per game, the lowest total in his three years on the team.

Though Iowa State has been solid defensively, McDermott needs more scoring to keep their postseason changes alive.

"The reason we have two wins is that we've defended OK," McDermott said. "That's given us an opportunity to be in these games, but we certainly have issues at the offensive floor."

Victor Alvarez

SUNY New Paltz' head coach Doug Pasquerella was upset at the 22 year old Alvarez last year for missing the 2005-06 season.

Alvarez knows the reason why. At the end of the Spring 2005 semester, he failed a class and could not make up the course in time that summer to be eligible for the 05-06 New Paltz basketball season.

The point guard was expected to play more minutes and have a prominent role. It would not occur.

He was upset at me and I was upset at myself," Alvarez, a member of the Beach Channel PSAL Queens borough champions in 2003, said. I was not used to failing because I didn't do that when I went to Beach Channel.

Coach Pasquerella and Alvarez finally came to the agreement where he would continue to practice and workout with the team.

When it came to this season, Alvarez wasn't guaranteed a spot on the Hawks roster.

"I was just trying to keep myself in shape and this year, I had to tryout for the team," Alvarez said.

"He (Pasquerella) may have done it as motivation for me to play hard."

Whatever the circumstance, Alvarez joined the team and is averaging only 15 minutes a game while waiting for his chance to start. SUNY New Paltz has a .500 record at 7-7. If he attends post-graduate school, Alvarez will have three years of eligibility yo play basketball.

"It's hard sometimes because I think I should play more than I do," Alvarez, who is a sociology major who will focus on working in probation after college. "I'll keep working hard and playing hard."

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