When new Broadneck boys basketball coach Jeff Starr took over the program in the offseason, he looked back before he focused on the future.
Starr became Broadneck’s fourth head coach in the school’s 40-year history following John Williams, Daryl Reid and Ken Kazmarek.
Starr loved the stability that the program — which won a county championship last year — offered.
“Being a coach and a player in the county for 30 years, I knew it was a great program,” Starr said. “It had a good history and feeder program. The pieces were in place for it to sustain being a good program. That definitely made it appealing.”
The 46-year-old Starr wants to stay around for a long time like his predecessors. That means perhaps a decade or more.
“I would stay as long as they would have me,” Starr said. “My youngest son is in third grade right now. I would love to still be coaching at Broadneck when he is a senior.”
It was a job Starr just couldn’t pass up. On top of the location, he took a job at Broadneck as a math teacher.
“It was the perfect storm,” Starr explained. “The basketball and teaching job opened. I live in the community right off across from the community college. I had to pursue the opportunity. Our family dynamics changed as far as picking up our three boys. My wife took an athletic director position at Southern High.”
Starr’s relationship with Broadneck Athletic Director Kevin Necessary also made a difference. The two worked together at Arundel High when Starr was the school’s boys basketball coach and Necessary served as athletic director.
Starr’s basketball resume is impressive, including his stint as Arundel coach.
He coached there for a decade and compiled a 160-57 record in 10 years. Starr also coached the boys team at Crofton High for three years and the Annapolis girls team for two years.
At Broadneck, Starr has raised expectations and perhaps the Bruins’ level of play,
They’re off to a 7-3 start with wins coming over Annapolis Area Christian School, Glen Burnie, Old Mill, Southern, St. Mary’s and Severna Park. Broadneck’s losses include contests against Severn School and Gilman.
Comeback wins against Severna Park and Glen Burnie were especially impressive. The Bruins trailed by 16 headed into the final six minutes against the Falcons before pulling out a stunning win, 57-56, behind 25 second-half points and 31 total from senior guard Jordan Brown.
Against Glen Burnie, Broadneck trailed by 17 after three quarters but scored 35 in the fourth to win 62-57.
“Our teams in the past have been a little shaky,” said Brown, whose team went 17-8 last year. “But we are a young team this year and we really play together. That’s why we are off to a good start.”
No player is more important to the Bruins’ success than the 6-foot-1 Brown, who is being recruited by a bevy of Division III schools.
He’s splitting time at point with 5-foot-10 sophomore Kamarin Williams, who was promoted from last year’s JV team.
“I think he is the best player in the county,” Starr said of Brown.
Sophomore guard and St. Mary’s transfer Ashton Sellman (6-6), senior guard Shawn Lewis (6-0), and senior forwards Grant Kelly and Devin McGowan (6-4) also start for the Bruins.
Top reserves include junior forward Joey Smargissi (6-3), junior guards Jacob Aponte (6-1) and Drew Cahill (6-1) and senior forward Luke Baldwin (6-5).
McGowan has been especially impressed with Cahill.
“Drew comes off the bench and knocks 3 immediately,” McGowan said. “He really helps us all over the court.”
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