(Notre Dame, Ind.) Holy Cross junior guard, Justin Breveard, was recently the highlight of Donnie Smith's blog on www.rrsn.com. Smith was the first play-by-play announcer for the men's and women's basketball games that aired online this past season.
Breveard Believes Hard Work Will Pay Off
NOTRE DAME-A lot of times, when your day is finished, you probably can't get over how tired you are. Holy Cross junior Justin (J.T.) Breveard doesn't have the luxury to think about how tired he is.
He's too busy to do so.
Breveard is a double major in Liberal Arts with a minor in English, is a starting guard for the basketball team, and on top of it all, works third shift in a factory in South Bend.
Still think your day is busy?
Breveard was an key component of the team this year, leading the team in points (15.3), free throw shooting (79.7%), minutes played (34.1) and was second in assists with 80 before suffering a season ending foot injury. Not only that, Breveard is looked to as a leader on his team as a captain.
"He's the guy the rest of the team looks to," said Schermerhorn, "obviously, he can score which obviously hurt us when he went down."
Breveard credits his individual successes this year to his rigorous summer training. "I put up a lot of shots and put myself in situations and take the summer a lot more serious," said Breveard, "it's the time you want to get better as a basketball player."
Before coming to Holy Cross, Breveard spent one season at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge after graduating from Riley. "It was a good experience being 12 hours away from home," said Breveard, "it gave me a lot of self responsibility, not being able to depend on anybody and having to make the right decisions also."
Along the lines of growing up, J.T. feels the turning point of his career was his senior year of high school, when the Wildcats went 22-6, winning the sectional and regional titles before bowing out of the tournament to Marion. In the two seasons before, Riley was a combined 19-25. "Seeing success at that point made me want to work harder and take the game more serious," said Breveard.
"J.T. took total accountability of the program from his practice habits, his preparation, and the outcome of the game," said Riley Head Coach Mark Johnson, "he held his teammates just as accountable."
In addition to playing basketball and taking 15 credit hours at Holy Cross, Breveard has spent the last seven months working 12:00 A.M. to 5:00 A.M. at Curtis Products four days a week to put himself through his junior year of college. " I'm doing something that's very hard, I can say that," said Breveard, "I'm always tired, but I don't let that get to me because of the fact I want to be successful and I know at the end it will all pay off."
Breveard doesn't get to enjoy the average student's college experience. "I try to get my homework done, then basketball out of the way by 4:00, try to lay down by 7:00, and then get up by 11:30 to go to work."
There were even time when he would go from a game straight to work. Keep in mind, Breveard played an average of 34 minutes per 40 minute game. You can tell this is difficult, because it will be the last year that Breveard attempts such a feat.
"I told him there is no way you could (work and play basketball)," said Schermerhorn, "he'd come from working the graveyard shift, and was never late to practice, I didn't caudle him at all and I pushed him as hard as I can push him."
Breveard sees his future back at Riley teaching and coaching, where he still goes to games and practices to mentor to the younger players according to Coach Johnson.
Both of his coaches shared a similar word in describing Breaveard; commitment. "His legacy was total commitment to the program physically and mentally," said Johnson. "He's dedicated in every phase of his life," said Schermerhorn, "to the classroom, and dedicated to basketball, he's got the whole package."
Before that, there's still one more season at Holy Cross for Breaveard, who will be out of his walking cast this week. "I think next season is going to be a year where it's going to be Holy Cross' coming out season," said Breveard, "I think these last two years have been showing how mentally strong we can be, and next year is going to depend on how much more together we will be as a team."
"I'm the luckiest guy in the world to come out of retirement, coach (at Holy Cross) and have a kid like him," said Schermerhorn.
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