Brownridge opts for Santa Clara
Waubonsie Valley's Jared Brownridge committed Tuesday to play basketball at Santa Clara University in California next year.
Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer
Jared Brownridge ¬
Microsoft operates in California's Silicon Valley. Google also. Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo, Apple.
So too will Waubonsie Valley senior Jared Brownridge, who after school Tuesday gave his verbal commitment to play basketball at the Division I college right in the Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University, of the West Coast Conference.
The All-Area guard had narrowed down his nine scholarship offers to a final three to visit. After heading last weekend to Santa Clara with parents Enos and Kathy, Brownridge settled on the Broncos over Drake and Southern Illinois.
"Me and the whole family loved Santa Clara," Brownridge said Tuesday night after completing his homework. "But the thing that stood out most was the academic side of Santa Clara. They really astonished us with that. If you graduate from there you get a good degree and on the other side it's a good basketball program. Both ways it fit me, so that's what I chose."
Brownridge attracted offers from Bradley to Creighton to Missouri State because of his shooting and scoring. The 6-foot-1 senior has scored 31 points three times, once as a junior against Brooks and last season against Naperville Central and St. Charles North.
His eight 3-pointers in a game his sophomore year are a Waubonsie Valley record, and Brownridge ranks sixth all-time among Waubonsie Valley scorers with 992 points. Last season he averaged 20.9 points and 4.3 rebounds to earn a second-team Class 3A/4A nod by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Brownridge made 58 3-pointers last season, 72 as a sophomore.
"A lot of programs love to have shooters," said Warriors coach Steve Weemer. "(Santa Clara) utilizes that 3-point line a lot in their offense, and they saw a quality shooter the first time they saw him play last summer with (Illinois Wolves) coach (Mike) Mullins."
AAU coach Mullins, whose sons Bryan and Brendan both played college basketball after graduating from Downers Grove South, said Brownridge's work ethic, 6-foot-6 wingspan, quick feet and increased ability to score from the paint to the rim demanded attention.
"He's diversifying his game from all three levels," said Mullins, whose nationally ranked Wolves also featured York's David Cohn (Colorado State) and St. Charles East's Kendall Stephens (Purdue).
Weemer feels Santa Clara — led in the recruiting by assistant coach Dustin Kerns and head coach Kerry Keating — gained a great person as well as a great player.
"They're getting a great kid, high character," Weemer said. "I've been fortunate enough to coach a lot of outstanding young men and he's right on top."
Brownridge said he's getting a great opportunity.
"I'm just hoping when I go down there I'll have a good four years of college," he said. "If I don't go into basketball after college — I hope I do — there will be good opportunities for me after Santa Clara."
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