Monday, October 24, 2011
All in the family
By Jason Jordan
HAMPTON, Va. -- To hear Brandan Stith tell it, as spirited and as gifted as the Virginia coaching staff has been throughout his recruitment, they pale in comparison to his younger brother Broderick and his barrage of constant Cavaliers’ sales pitches.
“He is always talking to me about Virginia. Always,” said Brandan, a junior forward. “I’ve got some good schools that I’m considering but none of them have someone in my ear at all times. Virginia has that in my brother. I think his whole wardrobe is orange and blue.”
That much was evident at the Boo Williams Skills Clinic in Hampton, Va., last weekend where Broderick, who had to sit out with a minor injury, was sporting a Virginia letterman’s jacket, a Virginia shirt and orange and blue shoes to match.
Brandan Stith (left) is warming up to the idea of becoming a Cavalier like his younger brother Broderick.
His loyalty is understandable, Broderick committed to Virginia on Sept. 3, due in large part to their father Bryant Stith’s legacy with the Cavaliers.
Bryant was a third-team All-American as a senior at Virginia, ending his career as the Cavaliers' all-time scoring leader (2,516 points) before he was taken with the 13th pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Stith played eight seasons in Denver before being traded to the Boston Celtics in 2000. He spent his final year with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002.
“I knew what I wanted to do and I knew there was no reason to wait,” said Broderick, a sophomore combo guard. “Now I’m trying to get my brother to join me. I love playing with him and want to continue it at the next level.”
For now, the brothers form a lethal tandem at Brunswick (Lawrenceville, Va.). Last year they helped the Bulldogs to a state title.
“They’ve both just constantly gotten better over the years and it’s paying off,” said Bryant, who is the head coach at Brunswick. “I definitely think that it’s pretty cool to have my son at my alma mater, but it’s not something I’ll push on Brandan. I want it to be the right decision for him.”
It’s the same message that Bryant preached to Broderick when he told his father that he was ready to be a Cavalier.
“I asked him straight up what he’d do if Kentucky and Duke and North Carolina came calling in a year,” Bryant said. “He said it wouldn’t matter, he’d still be committed to Virginia 100 percent. After that, he made the call to Virginia.”
Brandan doesn’t anticipate making a similar call to any school any time soon. Ohio, Clemson, Notre Dame, Xavier and Virginia Tech are all competing with Virginia and Broderick for Brandan.
There's a legitimate reason behind his reluctance with the whole "keep it in the family" scenario.
Virginia’s plan for him is different from the way they recruited Broderick. The Cavs’ coaches want Brandan to go to prep school for a year after he graduates in 2013, an idea he “wasn’t feeling” initially.
“Just going to school for another year isn’t all that appealing,” Brandan said. “I’ve been thinking about it though. It’s an idea that I’m starting to warm-up to.”
Added Bryant: “Brandan is ultimately the one who will have to spend four years at the college he picks so it needs to be a school where he’ll be happy.”
Salesman aside, Broderick gets that and even conceded that he wanted his brother to be in the best situation in college… Sort of.
“What better situation is there than to play with your brother at a college where your dad is a legend,” Broderick said. “I’m gonna keep working on him.”