Breakout Performer of the Year: Brandon Rush


Posted On: 08/3/18 6:59 PM

­In terms of sheer entertainment, there wasn’t a better watch than 2018 Breakout Performer of the Year Brandon Rush from TNBA Ohio. The 6’2” combo guard from Warrensville Heights dazzled crowded sidelines of college coaches, scouts, parents, and backpack-laden peers throughout the Midwest all year.

Along the way, Rush earned Division I scholarship offers from Central Connecticut State, Farleigh Dickinson, and Robert Morris. Coming into his 17U season, St. Francis (PA) was the only program to offer.

The scholarships are symbolic of his improvements, which have come in the realm of explosiveness, IQ, and skill.

“His athleticism allowed him to make a major jump,” said TNBA Ohio coach Steve Vega. “It allowed him to be more physical, stronger around the basket.”

Rush attacked the lane with fearlessness, often rising up for one-hand dunk attempts that resulted in either a highlight or trip to the free throw line. His burst also shows itself below the rim, where he zips past defenders with his quickness and shiftiness as a ball-handler.

“He’s been working with multiple speed and strength coaches that have done a really good job with him in giving him some guidance on narrowing the focus of where he needs to put his energy,” Vega said, in reference to Antonio Coleman of Game Speed Performance Academy and Jay Michaels of JayFitness.  

“And then he put the work in. You can give a kid a 90-minute workout two to three times a week and it’s just not enough. But Brandon put the work in and that’s the bottom line,” Vega concluded.

Rush’s handle combined with those physical traits make him incredibly hard to defend one-on-one, especially when you throw in the threat of his rather consistent step-back 3-point shot.

Given his ability to blow by defenders and get into the lane, he sees a lot of help-side defense in the paint. Rush is getting better at seeing the pass in those moments.

“The other piece [to his improvement] was his basketball IQ. He’s come a long way. I still think that’s an area where he can still improve,” Vega said. “He’s super coachable. I give him an ‘A’ for coaching, which again has helped develop his basketball IQ the last couple of years.”

Vega also applauded Rush for his defensive ability, an underrated piece of his game. Rush has tremendous lateral quickness, is aggressive in passing lanes, and plays with a lot of intensity on that end.

His game was at the highest level to date this season, but Vega still sees growth potential.

“I think he’s got a higher ceiling than a lot of the kids that he’s getting recruited with right now. You see where he’s come in the last year or two years and I actually think Brandon still has a lot of room to improve,” Vega said.


Others considered:

Evan Bainbridge (2019), 6’9” F, Ohio Basketball Club / Stow

Josh Corbin (2019), 6’3” G, All Ohio Red / Gahanna

Tre Williams (2019), 6’6”-6’7” F, All Ohio Red / Woodstock Academy (Reynoldsburg graduate)

Kevin Davet (2019), 6’9” C, All Ohio Black / St. Ignatius

Bo Myers (2019), 6’5” G, Ohio Hoopsters – Nakasian / Logan

Mo Njie (2020), 6’8” C, C2K Elite / Centerville

Matt Allocco (2020), 6’3” PG, C2K Elite / Hilliard Bradley