Friday, March 4, 2011

Bramswig Finishing What His Siblings Started

Jack Bramswig has a deep basketball bloodline. The high-rising college freshman happens to be the latest in a tight-knit, athletic lineage that's left legacies at Pleasantville High School and beyond.

Bramswig's father, Jim Bramswig, played hoops collegiately at St. Thomas Aquinas.

His older sister, Maggie Bramswig, authored an illustrious basketball career at Pleasantville High. Maggie, who eclipsed the 1,000 point milestone at Pleasantville, would prolong her career at Manhattanville.

Bramswig's older brothers Mike and Danny were both crafty guard/forwards, playing under Bob Delle Bovi at Pleasantville.

Pressure?

"People always ask that question but there is really no pressure at all," said Bramswig, who averaged 5.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and shot 52 percent from the field his freshman season at Manhattanville (14-11, 6-8 Freedom Conference Tournament).

"I see it as an advantage I have that others did not. I have three siblings-- Maggie, Mike, Danny--who have been in my situation and are experienced, so I have coaches away from the gym everyday. I have been around the game for so long and watched all of them play for so long and have taken so much out of watching them play. I feel my game resembles each one of theirs in different ways. I saw what they had success with and I try to recreate that in my game. Having endless support from athletes so successful is really such an advantage that too many players can say they have."

Consider him a basketball old-soul. Bless thy family.

The freshman had to play beyond his years at Manhattanville College this season. He found his way to the starting lineup for the Valiants (14-8, 6-8 in league action), etching a name for himself as a hustle player and key cog in the frontline.

Despite a scorching-hot 10-1 start, Manhattanville flamed out down the stretch of the season and failed to earn a playoff berth. Bramswig made an immediate impact at Manhattanville, scoring 16 points and ripping down 9 rebounds in an early road win at Muhlenberg College.

The jump from Pleasantville High to the nearby Purchase, N.Y. campus of Manhattanville was not a quantum leap, albeit there were inevitable transitions Bramswig needed to make.

"The hardest part for me has been that I have been wearing (Pleasantville) green-and-white my whole life." said Bramswig, who led an ultra-close, senior-laden Panthers team who had been playing the game since the recreation league level in third grade.

"I had such a special bond with each of my teammates, having known them for years. Then, coming to a new team with new teammates, I didn't know if I would be able to recreate that. But this team has taught me so much and we have such a strong family mentality here at Manhattanville. We do so much as a team and definitely the best part of being a college athlete, especially here, is the life long friendships I’m going to have when I walk away from Manhattanville."

The difference in pace and augmented physicality, aspects one must get acclimated to when transitioning to the NCAA tier, were notable from the beginning.

"The pace of the game is a lot more physical and a lot faster, as it was expected to be," explained Bramswig.

"As a big man it's just beat each other up on one end of the court. Then sprint 90 feet switch roles and do it again. In high school I probably averaged 30-32 minutes a game. Here it is a lot harder for me to do, as it's lot more physically demanding on your body."

During his stay at Pleasantville High, Jack Bramswig established himself as one of the most explosive scorers in program history.

He was an All-State performer in football, basketball, and baseball at Pleasantville, though basketball was always his true labor of love. Bramswig developed a prodigious vertical leap and a dependable mid-range jumper.

Bramswig's insatiable thirst for winning was evident throughout his senior year Pleasantville. He soared in for extravagant dunks. He snatched rebounds at a frantic pace. He was an emotional leader on the hardwood and in the locker room. He boasted good lift on his jumper, which rendered him hard-to-guard at the high school level.