Jacob Brustad has High Expectations on the Basketball Court

                                                                Photo by Kent Brewer


                                                             Photo by Kent Brewer

McKay Boys Basketball in Salem, Oregon, is about to make a run, not only for the CVC (Central Valley Conference) title, but also to play in the post season. That’s right – if all goes well and the team stays healthy this could be a great year for McKay Basketball. Come out and watch their first home game. The McKay Royal Scots will play against Tualatin on Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Jacob Brustad is a six-foot senior point guard who has a vision of playing at the next level after high school. Born in Salem, in 1995, he’s the son of Chris and Nina You Brustad. Jacob also has an older sister, Christa.

The young athlete speaks of being raised in a low-income-family environment. When he was a little kid he remembers living in a rough neighborhood. It was scary and definitely not a place that was always safe. He survived the storm choosing to do the right things in life and he continues to head in a positive direction.

“We had all kinds of young kids doing bad things and getting into trouble – mostly teenagers,” Jacob said.

He attended Scott Elementary School in the northeast side of town. His parents really pushed him to be a baseball player. They would sign him up for fall baseball and encourage him to get better at the sport. Jacob did not like baseball and started eyeing the sport of basketball.

In the fifth grade Jacob’s uncles, Judd You and Michael You, took him to a Blazer game. Jacob instantly fell in love with basketball. This adventure inspired him to become a basketball player. The transition from baseball to basketball began. His parents did what understanding parents should do. They supported Jacob on the sport he enjoyed the most.

“My parents are very supportive of me. They would take me to practices and buy me basketball shoes. Mom’s always at my games and Dad works late hours but manages to make it to my games as well. My uncles, Judd and Michael, also support me by coming to my games,” Jacob said.

Jacob played on several AAU tournament teams during his middle school years. Salem Basketball Club, Team Adidas, and Oregon Pump and Run were teams that helped him get the experience he needed – and the most important thing … he was having fun!

Jacob started getting really serious when he was in middle school. He started training with Matt Espinoza (Noza)  www.dynamicpd.net .  Skills training sessions were important to him – he wanted to help Mckay’s basketball team.

“I have been working with Jacob since he was a seventh grader. The amount of progress he has made is remarkable,” Assistant Coach Matt Espinoza said.

Dunking the basketball when he was a freshman in high school was an eye-opener. Not too many ninth graders can dunk the basketball. He has natural quickness and abilities that any athlete would love to have. Jacob also has a great three-point shot.

“I’m like … where’d that come from? It was a great feeling but it must have been a good jump because after that I could not dunk it again, but I kept trying,” Jacob laughs.

Now he can dunk consistently. We could possibly see one in a game this year if the team is ahead and the coaches give him a green light. Coaches don’t usually encourage dunks, they prefer to have a made basket.

This young man has worked hard over the summer (off-season) – in my opinion, that’s how a player gets better. Jacob worked on ball handling, passing, shooting, and defense. During summer league games, pushing the ball down court and finishing a shot at the end or making a solid assist was the focus for improvement.

“Jacob’s worked extremely hard to improve his game and has matured tremendously as a player and person the last two years. I’m excited to see the results of his hard work on the floor this season,” Head Coach Dean Sanderson said.

When Jacob is not playing basketball, he loves hanging out with his friends and listening to music (Hip-hop rap) – Kanye West usually. XBOX games are another thing he enjoys doing.

Academically, he’s great at Math, but Chemistry is his favorite subject – Jacob always tries to get his homework done ASAP. Maintaining a 3.5 GPA and recently bumping it up to 3.86, is not an easy thing to do, but inspiring. Jacob also does great things for others. He gives rides to his teammate, Dillon James, to school and to practices. Plus, he always gets his teammates involved in games.

Jacob, who is your favorite NBA team and who is your favorite college team?

I like the Oklahoma City Thunder and in college I like Kentucky.

What is your favorite basketball moment of all time?

I actually have two of them. When I was a freshman we were losing to Sprague by twenty-five points at halftime. We made a huge comeback and won the game! In the eighth grade I scored 37 points to help our tournament team beat the Woodburn Bulldogs.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

During school one time I was walking to the white board to do a problem. My knee gave out on me – I fell to the floor and everyone started laughing.

What are your expectations for the team as a senior and a leader?

To help my team put in a good effort in practices and games – off the court, setting an example for our team to be good people … no messing around.