By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
A competitive spirit can do special things.
In the case of Brook McIntyre, it has a way of making her the biggest player on the court despite standing just 5-foot-2.
The Mogadore junior has already showcased all of the skills necessary to be one of Portage County’s premier players.
She is fast.
She is tough.
She is fearless.
She is a magician ball-handler.
She can finish in the lane amongst the chaos.
But it is McIntyre’s unmatched desire to win that fuels her greatness.
It pushes her past the idea of just wanting to be a good player.
And it is currently the catalyst for the Wildcats’ program, which were co-champions of the Portage Trail Conference last year.
“She is unlike any player I have coached here,” said Mogadore head coach Jen Ritch, who is now in her ninth season leading Mogadore.
McIntyre made a splash as a freshman role player for the Cats (9.2 points per game), then emerged as an offensive leader last year as a sophomore to average 17 points per game and was named the Portage Trail Conference’s Player of the Year.
Now a junior, McIntyre has advanced even further, averaging nearly 24 points per game, while also absorbing an even larger leadership role defensively following the graduation of Amber Morris.
“Brook definitely has more responsibility this year on both sides of the court, and I think that is just a sign of her growth as a leader,” Ritch said. “It is not always easy, but she has her own style and the team feeds off her no matter what. She is, without question, our emotional leader and she will do anything to win.”
McIntyre smiles when she hears her coach’s description of her competitiveness.
She knows it is true — and she also holds an inspiring perspective that her four-year career will only really be a blink of an eye by the time it is over.
“You only get so many games and you only get so many years to play so why not play hard all the time,” McIntyre asked rhetorically. “I don’t want to take time for granted. I leave everything I have out there because one the game is over, it is in the past and you can’t go back to try to change it.
“I always want to win,” McIntyre continued. “I want to be first in everything. I want to have the best results in our team drills. I want to be the fastest and the first back on our sprints. It motivates me to try to be better today than I was yesterday.”
Not even McIntyre’s mother, former Mogadore basketball standout Ashley Tompkins, is safe from her competitiveness.
McIntyre, who started her basketball career when she was in Kindergarten, remembers hearing people tell her that her mom was a good basketball player.
“I wanted to be just like her,” said McIntyre, who is also an All-PTC volleyball player and placed 8th last spring at the Division III Track and Field Championships in the 4×400 relay alongside teammates Katie Lane, Julie Tompkins and Amber Morris. “Now, I want to be better than she was.”
Don’t wrongly assume that the standout junior’s confidence is arrogance. Her outgoing personality is built through modesty and friendliness, but it is also is a personality that refuses to settle.
Why should she?
Special things await.