Posted On: 02/22/18 5:07 PM
Two days ago, the Woodlawn Warriors hoisted the Baltimore County championship trophy after defeating Dundalk. Leading the Warriors in the scoring column was senior guard Mark Brinkley. The 6-foot-1 guard not only has been a consistent leader in the box score, but he’s also been a calming presence by showing his general leadership towards his teammates.
Coming into this season, the point guard position was a void that needed to be filled for Woodlawn. Brinkley played off the ball for the majority of the time last season, so stepping into more of a floor general role was an adjustment, but it ultimately was a move that was needed not only for Warriors as a team, it was also needed for Brinkley’s individual improvement.
“I had to improve my ball handling, my confidence and my leadership skills,” Brinkley told Prep Hoops after reflecting on the win Tuesday. “I know in college I’ll be playing point guard, so I have to continue to improve on my ball handling so I can be the player the coaches want me to be.”
Since last season, Brinkley’s progression has been obvious. Not only in the fact that he is now a dependable ball handler, but he’s improved his decision-making skills and his ability to create for others. Throughout this season, he’s also been a dead-eye shooter from three, so opposing coaches have to account for him every time down the floor.
Some aspects of Brinkley’s game that have been natural include finishing in transition and his ability to anticipate in the passing lanes defensively. Whether they’re in man-to-man or zone, Brinkley is especially good at baiting the ball handler to think he’s not paying attention off the ball. When really his plan all along is to quickly make up the space he was giving up to get a steal and get out on the break.
In terms of being a pure leader, he’s actively communicating on both sides. It doesn’t matter if his teammate just hit a three or just missed a lay up, he makes sure to go up to them and offer encouragement. That’s the sign of a true leader and are characteristics that carry over into the collegiate level seamlessly.
Albright has been recruiting Brinkley aggressively all season, but St. Mary’s College of Southern Maryland is expressing interest as well.
As the state playoffs tip-off tomorrow night, the 17-3 Warriors will enjoy a first-round bye before hosting the winner of Landsdowne/Towson.