Winthrop men’s basketball has locked up a pair of future backcourt contributors this week.
High school senior guards Bjorn Broman and Adam Pickett both committed to play hoops for Winthrop and coach Pat Kelsey this week after recent visits to the school’s campus.
While the two come from different backgrounds, both Broman and Pickett like to score.
Broman, a 6-foot junior from Duluth, Minn., averaged 41 points and five assists per game as a junior to lead the nation in scoring, according to MaxPreps. Pickett was no slouch either, leading the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics in scoring with a 32-point-per-game average last winter.
Broman was sold on the Winthrop program after his Aug. 29 visit, and subsequently canceled planned visits to St. Francis (Penn.), and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
“I loved it the moment I stepped on campus,” Broman said Wednesday evening. “Something just clicked with me and, yeah, it just felt like the right place.”
Broman scored 40 points or more in 13 games last season for Duluth’s Lakeview Christian Academy. He scored 50 or more four times, finishing with a season-high of 65 points in a 91-79 loss to Cass Lake-Bena on Jan. 13. Broman hit 19 of 28 field goal attempts in that game, including 8 of 13 from 3-point range, and 19 of 20 from the foul line. He hit double-digit free throws in 14 of his 26 high school games last winter.
Big-scoring Bromans are no new thing in the Land of a Thousand Lakes. Bjorn’s older brother Anders led the country in scoring at Lakeview in 2011, averaging 42.3 points per game, en route to becoming Minnesota’s all-time leading high school basketball scorer. Anders plays at South Dakota State, and he had some advice for Bjorn. He told his little brother to find a coaching staff that made him feel comfortable. Bjorn got that feeling from Kelsey and company.
“That was one of the biggest things for me, the coaches,” said Broman. “My brother said ‘make sure you go somewhere where the coaches love you for who you are,’ and the coaches have reached out to me so much, they all have a lot of energy, and they all seemed excited.”
Minnesota 1A private school basketball may not be the apex of competition. But Broman has proved his abilities at the highest level for prep players, winning an AAU National Championship in 2013 with the Howard Pulley team, out of Minneapolis. Broman averaged 15 points a game on a team that included Duke and Stanford recruits.
“When people see my scoring they just think it’s the competition, so I really take my summer ball very seriously,” he said. “There’s a lot of people out there that haven’t seen me, they’ve just seen the stats and they think bad about you. Any time I’m in Minneapolis or on the road in the Nike circuit, I always take it as an opportunity to prove myself and show people that I actually can play, and who I really am.”
Both Broman and Pickett are combo guards, though Broman probably projects as more of a facilitator at the Division I level. Pickett committed after a visit to Winthrop last week, according to a story in the Staunton News Leader.
Pickett, a 6-foot-1 combo guard, is another explosive scorer who also averaged over nine rebounds, 4.4 assists and 5.5 steals per game. The lefty scored 30-plus points in five games last season for Stuart Hall, including a season-high of 57 in an 85-80 win over Mountain View Christian Academy.
Pickett played AAU over the summer with East Coast Fusion, and opted for Winthrop over offers from Longwood, Radford, VMI, Boston U., Binghamton, and his other favorite, University of Maryland-Baltimore County.