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Pitt Football Commit Cruce Brookins Is Getting It Done On The Court For Steel Valley



MUNHALL, Pa. — After guiding Steel Valley to a WPIAL title in football, Cruce Brookins traded in his shoulder pads and cleats for basketball shoes and shorts. Brookins is the starting point guard for the Ironmen and is delivering solid performances that helped the Ironmen turn their season around after a terrible 1-6 start.

In football, Brookins is a three-star defensive back and the 11th-ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania according to Rivals. Brookins is committed to play football at the University of Pittsburgh.

Previously, he was a Kent State commit but after a recent coaching change, he decided to re-evaluate his decision.

After growing up in Pittsburgh, Brookins was already familiar with the University of Pittsburgh and was excited when they offered him a scholarship.

“[Pitt] felt like home. I’ve been living here, watching them [as] I grew up. It just felt great to be able to get an offer from there and commit there,” said Brookins to Pittsburgh Sports Now.

Brookins is not the “face” of the Steel Valley basketball team, but he is a key player for them. Brookins scored a career-high 40 points in a win over Seton LaSalle last Friday with his future head coach, Pat Narduzzi in attendance.

“It felt good just to drop those many points in front of my coach and show him how good I am in basketball and football,” said Brookins.

On Tuesday, Brookins helped close out a key section victory over Keystone Oaks with an important ‘and-one’ in the last 90 seconds and finishing with 12 points.

“It felt good to get a dub at the crib, against one of our teachers, Gary Goga,” said Brookins.

Goga is the head basketball coach of Keystone Oaks and a teacher within the Steel Valley School District.

While Makhai Valentine is the star of the basketball team, Brookins’ impact is evident. Valentine went as far as giving credit to Brookins for being one of the reasons that the team has found its stride.

“Mainly, I’d say [Cruce] and Nate. They help me out a lot, I just get the buckets, the blocks, and the rebounds. They do all of the dirty work, [Cruce] gets to the hoop,” said Valentine of his teammate.

Brookins will be enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh for the fall semester and officially be a Pittsburgh Panther. Until then, he will try to add to his collection of trophies and win a WPIAL title in basketball.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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