Hampton’s Fuller pays immediate dividends at Waynesburg
There’s a long list of former athletes who didn’t reach their full potential in high school.
A much shorter list constitutes the ones who fulfilled it as college athletes. Brooke Fuller seems intent on doing that for Waynesburg.
Fuller, a 6-foot freshman, was named Presidents’ Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after putting up two double-doubles in double-digit victories against Chatham and Westminster. Fuller averaged 17 points and 11 rebounds in the two games.
“I think I’m a lot mentally tougher now,” said Fuller, who enjoyed team success at Hampton behind its talented backcourts. “Our offense wasn’t run through me in high school. That was fine with me then. I would shoot jump shots, and that was the majority of my points.”
Fuller put up a season-high 22 points in the win at Chatham.
As of this week, her double-doubles (four) and shooting percentage (48.0) rank fifth in the PAC.
“I think now because I’m a big part of our offense, it gives me a big opportunity,” she said. “Now I love going down low, posting up and being physical.”
That’s much to the delight of coach Sam Jones, who was in need of depth because of graduation and other post-playing recruits leaving. That opened the door for Fuller.
“I knew she was going to compete for that spot,” Jones said. “And you know, kind of as life goes, she kind of got a baptism by fire. She’s the only post player we have. She’s obviously done a good job.”
Fuller is a sports junkie of sorts. She liked Waynesburg for its sports-related activities on and off the court. The communications major is interested in sports broadcasting and “couldn’t imagine my life without being involved in sports.”
“I could not go four years of school not playing basketball and watch other girls play,” she said. “I know I’d miss it. … Sports keep you on the right track. With my major, this school gives freshmen first-hand opportunities as soon as possible.”
Fuller is making the most of it. But Jones saw the potential when he started recruiting her as a junior.
“She caught me with her ability to run the floor at her size,” Jones said. “We try to play an up-tempo style, so I had her on my radar … I saw the skill was raw, but the potential was there.”
Fuller has taken some time to adjust to the extra conditioning and pace of the game and said she still is a little homesick.
But it hasn’t deterred her from becoming a more complete player than she was in high school.
“I’m just really happy with (the college) I chose, and I wouldn’t be where I am if my teammates and coaches didn’t work with me,” she said. “I’m getting the best experience. I know it’s a really young team, but I think we’ll be really good. We just have to keep working.”
Devon Moore is a freelance writer.