Anton Brookshire shoots the basket to clear his mind.
Since growing up in Milwaukee, the Springfield freshman phenomenon has found refuge on the court.
Brookshire’s mother was ill for most of her life. She suffers from the systemic autoimmune disease known as lupus.
His bones hurt. She cannot move very well.
Brookshire made him hot tea every morning before walking to school.
He was worried about her. And, like in therapy, he perfected his jump shot.
âBasketball is something I would go for when something was wrong,â said Brookshire. “Basketball is going to make me think of a whole other place.”
Growing up, he didn’t have the nicest car. He didn’t have the best clothes. Sometimes he had to wear the same clothes twice in a week.
It didn’t matter as long as he had a basketball.
Now that Brookshire heads to his uncle’s gym on Nixa’s north side, he continues to use the orange ball and the hoop to clear his mind.
He moved away from his mother – Karen Bracken – when he was in the sixth grade.
Bracken called his older brother Robert Yanders and told him that she needed him to come to Milwaukee to get Brookshire. He was on a plane the next day.
It was a tough day for Brookshire today, but he knew it had to be done.
âI knew Milwaukee had nothing to come. I knew if I wanted to go somewhere or become something someday, I had to come here and improve myself and be in a better environment.
âI was young. You say to yourself, ‘No, I don’t really know if I should do this.’ But I think about the big picture. Someday I can give my mother her own house and my mother this and that. “
Brookshire calls her grandmother every day to make sure her mother is okay. Some days she isn’t, so he goes to the gym.
As he clears his mind, Brookshire was able to work on perfecting his craft.
Brookshire’s uncle Yanders is the founder and owner of The Basketball Movement, where he trains a number of the area’s top high school basketball prospects, varsity athletes (Alize Johnson during the summer) and NBA players from time to time (Anthony Tolliver, Monte Morris during the summer).
Yanders pushes Brookshire to its limits.
Through hard work and countless hours in the gym, Brookshire has transformed into a starter freshman at Kickapoo High School.
It already has an offer from UNLV and is attracting interest in the State of Kansas and the State of Missouri, and more schools are sure to follow suit.
Kickapoo head coach Mitch McHenry said Brookshire had a high ceiling and he knew how much work he was putting into it.
âHe’s in the gym all the time. I think he’s a special talent, but he also worked to learn the skills. I think some of it is given by God, but a big part of it. ‘is striving to be the best player he can be. “
His trainer says Brookshire doesn’t care about the attention he gets, even though he deserves it.
He does not know who proposed him or who recruited him. He leaves that to his uncle.
He doesn’t care. Offers are coming.
Brookshire loves basketball and his mom. He wants to put himself in a position to make sure he and his family are successful.
âEveryone’s trying to tell me how good I am, and I’m just trying to stay humble and keep working,â Brookshire said. “I know in the long run, if everyone keeps talking about me, I have to keep doing what I was doing to get there.”