'Boo' Brewer coaches sons into Sweet 16
PNC/KHSAA Sweet 16
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington
Jordan Brewer and Anthony Myrks have been ribbing their father since helping Bardstown High School to the Fifth Region boys' basketball championship last week.
The sons of former University of Louisville player James "Boo" Brewer have enjoyed reminding their father that he never played in the Sweet 16 during his high school days.
"They've been teasing me quite a bit," Brewer said with a chuckle. "I told Jordan to clean his room, and he looked at me and said, ‘Dad, did you ever win a regional championship?' "
But it has all been in good fun.
James Brewer didn't make it to the state tournament during his playing days at Bardstown, but this week the Tigers' appearance in the PNC/KHSAA Sweet 16 will be a family outing.
The elder Brewer is in his first season as the head coach at Bardstown, and his sons are two of the top players on a 24-4 team that will play Bullitt East at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Rupp Arena in the opening round.
"This has been wonderful," Brewer said. "Yeah, I didn't make it as a player, and I still remember that, but now that I am a coach and I won it with my kids. That's special."
Brewer, who retired from playing overseas in 2005, is in his first season as a head coach.
He spent five years as an assistant at LaRue County.
"It's all fallen in place for me," Brewer said.
Brewer said Bardstown made it to the Fifth Region semifinals every year during his high school career.
During his senior season in 1988, Bardstown was ranked No. 3 behind Ballard and Clay County. The Tigers beat Ballard in the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic and lost to Clay County in double overtime at the LIT.
"In the back of our minds, we were like, ‘We can do this,' " Brewer said, noting his dreams were crushed with a two-point loss in the regional semifinals to Hart County.
Brewer went on to have a successful career at U of L and played more than a decade overseas, including a nine-year stint in Italy.
After his first two years as an assistant, Brewer said he knew someday he "wanted my own team," and it just happened to be at his alma mater.
"At first, I didn't know about it," he said. "I didn't want to put that extra pressure on my kids. But they are better than I was at their age, so it's all worked out."
Both are juniors. Anthony Myrks is Brewer's stepson.
The 5-foot-9 point guard, whose nickname is "Smurf," averages 10.8 points and leads the Tigers in assists and steals. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 4-to-1, and the team averages just eight turnovers a game. "He's the general on the floor," Brewer said.
The 6-3 Jordan Brewer "just gets it done," according to his father, and averages 11.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. "He keeps us together as a team, and he's our No. 1 defender," James Brewer said.
Both players are getting college looks in basketball and football. Jordan is a quarterback and Anthony a wide receiver. Kentucky has shown interest in both for football.
"As a parent, I couldn't ask for two better sons," said Brewer, whose daughter - Alexis - averaged 13.3 points a game this season as an eighth-grader on the LaRue County varsity team.
"I know it gets to them every once in a while when they hear, ‘This is Boo Brewer's son,' and things like that, but you never notice it because they never change the way they talk or the way they walk.
"Hey, and now they have something I wanted, so they can brag a little more."
Jody Demling can be reached at (502) 582-7176.