Responding with responsibility Basketball: Becoming a team captain made Kris Brust realize she can't get down on herself and lead her Glenelg teammates at the same time.

December 21, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

No one is harder on Kris Brust than Kris Brust.

"That's just me," said the Glenelg junior. "If I get a 96 on a test, I feel I should have had a 100."

The same is true on the basketball court.

Brust transferred to Glenelg at the start of the basketball season last year after being told by the Seton Keough coach that her playing time would be limited.

Glenelg coach Ciaran Lesikar welcomed her. He saw 6 feet, 2 inches of potential. He also saw someone who got down on herself too easily and too often.

"That's my major flaw," Brust said.

"She was really critical of herself . . . to the point that it really interfered with her ability to play," Lesikar said.

Brust remembers it all to well. "I got frustrated," she said. "If I missed a shot, that's all I thought about. I didn't think ahead. If I had been a little less critical of myself, I would have been a better player."

Brust has worked on that part of her game as much as anything, and with good success. She's averaging 18 points -- best in the county -- and 12 rebounds per game for the 19th-ranked Gladiators (3-1 overall, 2-1 county).

"I'm learning to forget most of my mistakes and look ahead," Brust said. "If I miss a shot I think about it for a second, but by the time I'm at half court I'm thinking about what defense I should be in."

Brust has support from her coach and teammates, especially senior guard Shana Wyant.

"We can sense when the other is getting down a little bit," Wyant said. "I just remind her that she's not going to miss every shot and to keep taking them."

There is another reason Brust has improved her mental approach. She is one of three captains voted by her teammates.

"She has really taken on the responsibilities and understands that she has to get past her frustration and do what the team needs her to do," Lesikar said. "We've talked a lot about staying under control and not allowing things to upset her when she's having a bad day, and she's really done a nice job of doing that this season."

Brust enjoys her leadership role, and said it has made a difference in how she approaches things on and off the court. "If something goes wrong, I have to be able to do something about it," she said. "Being a captain has benefited me. It helps me stay focused on everything. If I don't, I know I haven't upheld by responsibilities, and that's very important to me."

A year ago Camey Brian did most of the scoring down low for Glenelg. With Brian in college, Brust is now the go-to person under the basket.

"She's really a good inside force," said Glenelg guard Lauren Martin, whose strong outside shooting gives the team a very effective inside-outside game. "When she gets the ball you know she's going to do something with it, whether that's score or find the open person."

Brust shoots well with either hand and has developed a nice hook shot that she didn't have a year ago. "Last year I played the high post," Brust said. "This year I've learned to be a low-post player. He's [Lesikar] really helped me a lot. He's helped me learn the moves I needed to learn."

Lesikar said the biggest difference in Brust from a year ago is "her versatility underneath -- using her body to hold the defense away and being able to quickly make a decision as to which shot to use."

Brust spent last summer at her grandmother's home in Farmington, Maine, where she participated in a high school league. She played volleyball at Glenelg for the first time in the fall -- for fun and to stay in shape -- and also has been lifting weights.

"Lifting has really helped with her rebounding," said Lesikar, whose team plays host to No. 5 Wilde Lake at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

Lesikar thinks Brust has the potential to be very good. "If she continues to improve the way she has I really think, one-on-one, no one will be able to stop her next year."

Brust wants to play in college, and is willing to put in the practice time to improve. She knows she has made significant progress from a year ago.

"I don't get frustrated that much and I can take comments from people better," said Brust, who is nursing an injury to her right wrist but won't go to a doctor because she doesn't want to hear bad news. "I've become generally a better all-around player."

No one would argue.

Pub Date: 12/21/97

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