Best In State
Hind, Brown Shine At New York’s Summer Hoops Festival
Drew Hind and Lucus Brown have both had their share of dominating nights on local basketball courts.
Last weekend, the pair got to see how they stack up against New York’s best.
Safe to say, the fit in just fine.
Hind, entering his sophomore year at Randolph, was named to the All-Tournament Team and Brown, entering his junior year at Salamanca, averaged double figures in scoring at the 10th annual Basketball Coaches Association of New York’s Summer Hoops Festival hosted by Johnson City Schools.
“It was great competition, good basketball and a lot of fun,” said Randolph head coach Kevin Hind, who is Drew’s father and was an assistant with the Buffalo All-Star team. “I got to know the five guys I coached with and Erik O’Bryan from Niagara Wheatfield. … We met a lot of basketball people. It was just a great basketball weekend.”
“It was a great experience for him. I think he averaged 13 points per game and played good defense,” Salamanca head coach Adam Bennett said of Brown. “More than anything else he enjoyed practicing with those guys, being around his teammates and playing against some of the top competition in the state. It was a good experience. He had a great time and as his coach I was proud to watch him play so well.”
The Buffalo team had arguably the hardest schedule at the tournament, playing four games in less than 24 hours — finishing round-robin play before some teams had even played two games.
Buffalo beat Rochester 76-60 in its opening game and then topped Southern Tier 71-61. An 81-41 loss to eventual champion Hudson Valley followed.
A close game grew to a wider margin in the final minutes as Buffalo lost its final round-robin game 73-62 to Suffolk.
“We missed a 3 and they hit a 3, then we missed another 3 and they hit another 3,” Hind said. “It went from three points to nine points really quickly.”
In the fifth-place game, Southern Tier beat Buffalo 61-58 on a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining.
“Drew was the only sophomore on our team and the only Buffalo guy to make the All-Tournament Team. … He had a good all-around weekend,” Hind said. “He was never the leading scorer, but he was right around double figures, played great defense and handled the ball. It was nice to play with other really good players. You can just play basketball and it flows.”
Coming off his New York State Sportswriters Association First-Team all-state nod this winter, Brown was the Most Valuable Player of the Best of Buffalo Freshman-Sophomore Showcase in March and now joined Hind representing the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association at the Summer Hoops Festival.
“I think the thing that makes Lucus unique is that he’s really not married to the results. He just focuses on getting better every time he takes the floor whether it’s at the BCANY festival, summer league, individual workouts or at team workouts. He just wants to compete,” Bennett said. “He just loves the game.”
“If I was voting, Lucus Brown would’ve been right up there for all-tournament team,” Hind said. “I got to know Lucus really well over the last two weeks. He’s just a hard, hard worker and a good kid. It’s been really nice to get to know him as a person. It’s easy to see why he’s had success because he’s worked really, really hard. He’s very humble and just a nice kid.”
For the Hinds, it was their third time participating in the Summer Hoops Festival. Drew’s older brother, Tyler, played in two of the festivals — entering his junior and senior years. Kevin helped coach during Tyler’s senior year and Drew was the Buffalo team’s ball boy.
“We have nine guys to follow this season that we’ve made friendships with,” Kevin said of the Buffalo players. “We’re interested to see how they do and how they’ll play.
“Drew and Lucus were two of our better players,” Hind said, “and they can come back next year so that’s exciting.”