All-howard County Basketball

March 14, 2002

BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kevin Steenberge

River Hill, Senior

The tallest player in county history at 6-foot-10 averaged 24.8 points, 17.2 rebounds and 7.5 blocked shots in 23 games -- statistics that add up to the most dominant individual single-season performance ever.

Signed by Richmond to a full scholarship, the two-year captain shot 62.2 percent (237-for-381) from the field, and had 21 double doubles and five triple doubles while leading the Hawks to their first county title and a school-best 17-6 record. His top statistical games came against Long Reach (36 points, 27 rebounds, 15 blocks), Oakland Mills (21 points, 28 rebounds, 15 blocks) and Glenelg (26 points, 21 bounds, 15 blocks).

In the regional quarterfinals against Prince George's County power Friendly, he scored 28 points to go with 20 rebounds and seven blocks. He holds 20 school records, including single-game marks of 40 points, 28 rebounds and 15 blocks. For his three-year career, he scored 1,084 points, had 880 rebounds and 394 blocks. The rebounding and blocked shots totals are county records.

Steenberge didn't just dominate because of his height: He was multi-dimensional. Very athletic, he can perform 360-degree dunks, has a 30-inch vertical jump, can catch alley-oops flawlessly and has quick feet -- even if they are size 17.

He constantly produced under pressure situations, giving his team countless crucial baskets. He performed with a combination of courage, toughness and finesse against even the most physical opponents. The Student Government Association President and National Honor Society member has been selected to play in both the Capital Classic and the Charm City Classic senior all-star games.

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

Brian Van Deusen

River Hill

The 27-year-old Western Maryland College graduate directed the Hawks to their first county championship in his third season at the helm. It was the 6-year-old school's winningest season at 17-6 and gave Van Deusen his third straight winning year and a career record of 44-26.

"This was a great group to work with," he said. "The kids accepted their roles. They knew Kevin [Steenberge] was our No. 1 go-to guy. They won nine of the last 10 league games to win the county title outright. It was nice to see them keep improving."

Van Deusen, who teaches math at River Hill, was a football and baseball standout at Western Maryland. He played football, basketball and baseball at Atholton, from which he graduated in 1992. He credits his assistant coach, Roy Henderson, for helping train the team's post players.

BOYS FIRST TEAM

Jon Bacon

Wilde Lake, senior

"He's an exceptional player. He had a huge heart and was tenacious," said Wildecats coach Phil Chenier. "Not too many kids play like him. He gave us an emotional boost and he showed leadership in developing our six sophomores. He did a lot for us. He was our best defender and could go to the basket."

A shooting guard, Bacon averaged 16 points, four assists and three steals. His highest-scoring game was 30 points against Glenelg.

Eric Breland

Glenelg, senior

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound forward presented problems underneath for most teams. As Glenelg's go-to guy, every team made a special effort to stop him. Despite the extra attention, he averaged 21.3 points and 11.3 rebounds. He set a school record by scoring 490 points in a single season, and he shot 53.6 percent (194-for-362) from the field.

Breland had three 30-point games, his best being a 33-point effort against Poolesville and a 32-point night against Howard. In a three-year varsity career, he scored 1,095 career points (second best in school history) and had 556 career rebounds (fourth best in school history). He sank 215 career free throws to rank third in Glenelg history. He's the only Gladiators player to break 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for his career and will attend Howard Community College.

Andre Brooks

Oakland Mills, senior

Considered the second-best player in the county by the coaches, Brooks consistently made key baskets for the Scorpions, including a miraculous, triple-teamed, last-second shot from the top of the circle that beat Howard, 74-72, to give coach Dave Appleby his 300th win. In 24 games, Brooks scored 448 points (18.7 average) and had 237 rebounds (10.0 average). The 6-foot-6, 185-pound forward also averaged three blocked shots. Brooks scored 29 points in a late-season upset of county title contender Long Reach.

"I just tried to give my team a big basket whenever it needed it," Brooks said.

He was phenomenal at the foul line, shooting 80 percent (159-for-201). Those were school records for free throws made and attempted. He led Oakland Mills (13-11, 11-7 league) to a third-place county finish and a near-upset of Baltimore City powerhouse Dunbar in the regional playoffs.

Brooks, who scored 1,073 career points, is considering schools that include Hargraves Prep, St. Joseph's, Rider and Central Connecticut.

Anthony Gaither

Long Reach, senior

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.