Both Drew Hind and Lucus Brown have had their share of dominant nights on local basketball courts.
Last weekend, the two got to see how they stack up against New York’s best.
It’s safe to say it fits very well.
Hind, entering his sophomore year at Randolph, was named to the all-tournament team and Brown, entering his junior year at Salamanca, averaged double-digit scoring at the 10th annual Basketball Coaches Association of New York Summer Festival hosted by from 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 on the Buffalo All-Star team. “I got to know the five guys I was training with and Eric O’Brien from Niagara Wheatfield. … We met a lot of people involved in basketball. It was just a great weekend of basketball.”
“It was a great experience for him. I think he averaged 13 points a game and played good defense.” Salamanca head coach Adam Bennett said of Brown. “More than anything, he enjoyed practicing with these guys, being around his teammates and playing against some of the best 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 perhaps the toughest schedule of the tournament, playing four games in less than 24 hours – finishing round robin play before some teams had even played two games.
Buffalo defeated Rochester 76-60 in its opener and then topped the South Series 71-61. An 81-41 loss to eventual champion Hudson Valley followed.
The tight game grew to a bigger margin in the final minutes as Buffalo lost its final round 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, the Southern Tier beat Buffalo 61-58 on a three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left.
“Drew was the only sophomore on our team and the only person from Buffalo to make the all-tournament team. … He had a good weekend in the all-around,” Hind said. “He was never a leading scorer, but he was almost in double figures, played great defense and held 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 selection this winter, Brown was the Most Valuable Player at the Best of Buffalo Freshman-Sophomore Showcase in March and now joins 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 results. He just focuses on getting better every time he takes the floor, whether it’s at the BCANY festival, summer league, individual practices or team practices. He just wants to compete,” Bennett said. “He just loves the game.”
“If I voted, Lucus Brown would be right there for the team for the entire tournament,” Hind said. “I’ve gotten to know Lucus very well over the past two weeks. He’s just a hard worker, a hard worker and a good kid. It was really nice to get to know him as a person. It’s easy to see why he was successful because he worked really, really hard. He is very humble and just a nice kid.
For Hinds, this was their third appearance at the Summer Hoops Festival. Drew’s older brother, Tyler, played two of the festivals — entering his junior and senior years. Kevin helped coach during Tyler’s senior year and Drew was the ball boy for the Buffalo team.
“We have nine guys to follow this season that we’ve become friends with,” Kevin said of the Buffalo players. “We are interested to see how they do and how they play.
“Drew and Lucus were two of our better players,” Hind said, “and they can come back next year, so it’s exciting.”