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Federal Way basketball star Broussard is Athlete of the Year
The Federal Way High School basketball team’s season had been over for only seconds.
The Eagles had just been beaten by the undefeated Ferris Saxons in the Class 4A State Championship game inside the Tacoma Dome.
Team captain and Federal Way’s best player, Aaron Broussard, had every right to let his emotions get the best of him.
Nobody would have thought any less of him.
The 6-foot-5 forward just happened to be the only Federal Way senior who played any significant minutes at March’s state tournament.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, Broussard was the one offering a helping hand to his younger teammates, who would all have another shot at coming back to the Tacoma Dome and winning the basketball-rich school’s first boys state championship.
“You’d think he would have been the one needing to be consoled,” said Broussard’s mother, Robin. “After all, most of those guys will have one or two more chances at state.”
But that’s just the type of athlete and person Broussard is. He is a rare athlete that is popular with both the coaching staff and his teammates. Broussard can walk the walk and talk the talk, so to speak.
It’s those attributes which earned Broussard the Federal Way Mirror’s high school Athlete of the Year for the 2007-08 season.
“High school was great,” Broussard said. “Senior year was really special.”
He starred on the basketball court for the Eagles, earning first-team, All-SPSL North honors. But he was also a first-team wide receiver on the football field and qualified for the West Central District track and field meet in the long jump, high jump and triple jump in a sport he did “just to keep in shape.”
“The athletic talents are gifts that he was blessed with – granted he works hard to maximize them,” Robin Broussard said. “But the qualities that make him such a good teammate and leader, those are qualities that he can take full credit for.”
Broussard’s future will be on the basketball court. He signed a national letter of intent to play at Seattle University before his senior season at Federal Way after averaging 14 points and 11.3 rebounds a game as a junior.
“I knew I would be happy there,” Broussard said about Seattle U. “I could tell that they respected their players and I wanted to sign before the season, because if I didn’t have a good season, it would add a little more pressure.”
“(Aaron) is a physical and focused student-athlete,” said Seattle University head coach Joe Callero. “We want to keep the best Seattle area players at home. He has the mental and physical make-up to face the future competition.”
The fact that Broussard inked with Seattle U is evident that he was a known commodity around the basketball community in the Puget Sound.
But it was this year’s Class 4A state tournament that really put Broussard on the statewide map.
“Playing in the championship game was my best memory in high school,” Broussard said.
The Class 4A state championship game wasn’t something Federal Way was even supposed to sniff this year. The Eagles had finished in just fourth place in the eight-team South Puget Sound League North Division and had to win three-straight loser-out games at the district tournament to even qualify for state.
“Once we got to state, we were just excited to be there,” Broussard said. “We just wanted to prove everybody wrong. Nobody thought we would win our first three games, but we did. It was awesome.”
The senior was a monster during Federal Way’’s four-game run to second place. Broussard averaged 20.3 points and was named first-team, all-tournament. He tallied 29 points, 14 rebounds and three steals during Federal Way’s semifinal win over Decatur.
“He was unbelievable,” Decatur head coach Kevin Olson said of Broussard after the Eagles beat the Gators in Tacoma. “He was the difference. He is a great player and a great kid. Before the game, he had a look that he was going to do everything.”
As a senior, Broussard averaged 17.2 points and 10 rebounds a game and earned first-team, All-SPSL North Division.
Even though basketball is the sport Broussard will be playing in college, he actually might be a better football player. At 6-5, 200 pounds, Broussard was bigger, faster and stronger than every defensive back he went up against during the Eagles’ football season and earned first-team, All-SPSL North honors as a wide receiver. Broussard caught 23 passes for 638 yards and four touchdowns and was also Federal Way’s starting safety on defense.
Broussard’s play led the Eagles to a South Puget Sound League title for the first time since 1976. One of his best games came in Federal Way’s 27-21 league-championship clinching overtime win over Kentridge.
With the Eagles down 21-7 midway through the third quarter, Broussard intercepted a fourth-down pass before catching a 68-yard touchdown pass one play later.
“The football season was really special,” he said. “Football is such a great team sport and I will always remember how good of a team we had.”
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org