by Mason Raven
The past four years have seen the growth and development of three star basketball players – Chase Brogna, Christian Sanders and Jeremy King. During their tenure in Reckling Gymnasium, the basketball program found success on the court, winning a TAPPS state championship in 2011.
Although leaving their 2012 campaign empty-handed – exiting with a loss in the state semifinals – Sanders, Brogna and King are continuing their basketball careers at the next level.
Sanders is now attending Stanford University on a basketball scholarship. Through the first 13 collegiate games, Sanders has started four. For the season he is averaging 2.9 points and 12.5 minutes per game on a 10-7 Cardinal basketball team.
Even though Sanders’ offensive production is limited, Athletic Director Mike Netzel remembers the glory days when Sanders roamed Reckling gymnasium.
“[Christian] had a real joy playing basketball,” Netzel said. “He was unafraid to have the ball in his hands during the final seconds of a game.”
Sanders played 25 minutes and scored 13 points in a loss to Belmont University on Nov. 18. His performance then is just a small bit of what Sanders is capable of doing.
“[Christian] has that inherit ability to want the ball,” Netzel said. “He made multiple game-winning shots [at St. Thomas].”
While Sanders is seeing some playing time at Stanford, King and Brogna are not having the same luck.
King is attending Loyola University-Chicago. Despite being the tallest player on the roster – listed at 6’10″ – he is redshirting this year.
“Jeremy is one of those guys you could always count on to have his eight points, 10 rebounds, three blocks a game,” Netzel said. “The extra year should help his body mature and have that inside presence.”
Senior basketball captain PJ Pane, who played alongside King for two years, knows the best is yet to come.
“Jeremy is a tremendous shot blocker and can have a huge impact on the game by using his length,” Pane said. “He will be able to bring energy and exciting plays on both ends of the floor.”
Junior forward Jamie Keating, who played with King for one year, knows King just needs an opportunity to shine like he did while dominating in the paint of Reckling Gymnasium.
“Jeremy always plays hard,” Keating said, “which should earn him a lot of playing time next year.”
This past summer, Brogna accepted a basketball scholarship from Ball State University but has not seen much of the court. Through fourteen games, Brogna is averaging 7.1 minutes per game.
Although seeing limited playing time, Brogna’s unparalleled work ethic will push him to new heights, according to Pane.
“Chase is an extremely hard worker and has a nonstop motor,” Pane said. “He will work hard enough to make sure he is successful in college.”
With goals in-place, the trio is determined to make a name for themselves.
“Christian, Chase and Jeremy are very determined and hardworking players,” Keating said. “I believe that all of them will have very good college basketball careers.”
The combination of Sanders, Brogna and King found success in Reckling Gymnasium. Now at the next level, they are determined to refine and improve the very skills that got them closer to their dream.
“I think the fact that all three of them are playing at Division 1 schools says a lot about them and how far our basketball program has come,” Netzel said. “Their abilities to play at the next level speaks to the coaching, their teammates and the school.”