Type to search

Bonsky Heating and Cooling Athlete of the Week: Windham basketball’s Carlos Bruton

Bonsky Heating and Cooling Athlete of the Week: Windham basketball’s Carlos Bruton


Windham junior Carlos Bruton has stepped into an expanded role for the Bombers this season.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Things were always going to be different for Carlos Bruton this season.

Head coach Cody Apthorpe knew it.

He just needed to make sure that Bruton knew it, too.

With a maturity that exceeds his tenure as a second-year varsity basketball head coach, Apthorpe approached Bruton in the preseason to have a discussion about what those differences were and how they could work together to transition through them.

Physically and mentally.

“The first part of the conversation was that Carlos needed to know that the ball was going to be in his hands a lot more this season,” said Apthorpe, whose Bombers graduated key playmakers from last season, including Chase Eye, Lucas Churchill and Zack Turk.

Carlos Bruton is averaging about 20 points and 4 assists per game this season for the Bombers.
Tom Nader/Portage Sports

All three allowed Bruton to play predominantly off the ball as a complementary scorer in 2022-23.

“The second part of the conversation was balancing the idea that we were going to need Carlos to step up, but also to get him to understand that just because of that, it didn’t mean that the outcome of games were going to fall on him as an individual.

“We knew he was capable of being both the player that can score for us, but also the player that can facilitate for us.”

Apthorpe and his coaching staff were right.

Bruton has excelled as a leading player, while still working toward perfecting the intricacies of how to weave the two tangibles together throughout the course of game.

In the meantime, he is averaging about 20 points and 4 assists per game, with a unique, but tantalizing change-of-speed attack that opponents have found difficult to defend, helping the Bombers start the season 4-2 overall and 4-1 in Northeastern Athletic Conference action.

And while Bruton understands that his role for this year’s team needs to be enhanced, he has decided to approach it with a degree of simplicity.

“I just have fun playing basketball,” the Bombers’ junior said calmly. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love basketball. I like being on the basketball court, and I like being with my teammates.”

Bruton began attending Windham in the fourth grade and it was through the game of basketball that helped Windham feel like home to him, as well as the compassionate help of teacher at Katherine Thomas Elementary.

“I felt pretty comfortable when I got to Windham, but I remember Mrs. Reed and Mrs. Hill helped a lot, too. They were very nice to me and wanted me to feel comfortable in a new school.”

For Apthorpe, he began to see Bruton feel comfortable as a player last season as a sophomore.

“I thought last year was a good season for Carlos to establish himself as a varsity-level player,” Apthorpe said. “I think it helped him get ready for what we needed from him this season.”

Across the board, Bruton has improved in every part of his game, most notably his shooting, which has allowed him to bundle points together on hot streaks like the 16-point quarter he put together in a 12-point victory over Southington Chalker earlier this season. Bruton finished with 31 points in the game, using his inside and outside games to get him there.

Ultimately, Bruton’s ability to get to the rim with ease comes from the combination of quick-hand dribbling, change-of-pace movement and seeing how defenders are lining up behind his immediate defender.

“The way Carlos changes pace is probably his best weapon,” Apthorpe said. “He has the ability to lull a defender to sleep, then he bursts by them, and he has a very, very quick crossover. He really enjoys those situations — those opportunities to beat his defender, and he is very good at it.”

It is part of what Apthorpe envisioned for his standout before the season began — and it is part of what opposing teams are trying to figure out on their own time now.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *