In his four years at Oliver Ames, senior boys’ basketball tri-captain Nick Bruha has put together an impressive resume.
As a freshman, Bruha helped the Tigers reach the state tournament under former coach Creig Muscato. Under current head coach Don Byron, Bruha has been the catalyst, was named to the all-Hockomock League and helped OA earn two more playoff appearances, including last year’s run in the Division 2 South Sectional semifinals.
In front of a packed Nixon Gymnasium, Bruha added to that resume and joined the likes of former Tigers Amos Anderson and Chris Tighe on the 1,000-point club.
Not bad for a player who still has at least eight more games left in his swan song.
“It was incredible,” Bruha said about his milestone. “It’s amazing that you have the whole town supporting you where I felt like I achieved the goal for everybody and not necessarily myself. A lot of people made an effort to be there on Friday and it was very humbling.”
When Bruha hit his free throw early in the second quarter to clinch the milestone, several of his fellow students ran onto the court to congratulate him. Afterwards, his family came to the court for a photo-op to celebrate.
While the team was assessed a technical foul during the celebration, Bruha was appreciative of the support from his peers.
“You can feel the anticipation going in,” Bruha said. “Everyone was giving me a pat on the back wishing me luck and wanting to see me succeed and to see the support that came out on a Friday night was incredible.”
Although his older brother, Matthew, another former Tiger, is attending college in Hawaii, he still had the support from him, his younger sister Samantha, and the rest of his family.
“My brother is in Hawaii so he couldn’t be here, but he’s over there studying and still really supportive of me,” Bruha said. “He told me ‘just play your game and do your thing’ and he wishes he could be here.
“It was nice to talk to everyone before the game,” Bruha continued. “My grandparents call me before every game and even my little sister didn’t even do her homework. She’s up making signs for me…and for me to see her look up to me that way and sees the effort that I put in and to see her have my back is truly rewarding.
“And, my parents have always been supportive. It’s great when my parents always say that they’re proud of you and they go out of their way to let me know that they know that I’m working hard and life’s about achieving and setting goals – getting rid of the negatives and looking at the positives. It really means a lot.”
While OA lost a tightly contested battle against one of the best teams in the state, Bruha’s accomplishment was well deserved according to Byron.
“The way he did it was very effective,” said the third year coach. “He let the game come to him, took great shots and distributed when he needed to."
Now in the home stretch, Bruha hopes he can guide his team to another deep tournament run.
But, through his first three and a half years, Bruha’s career is everything that he could have dreamed of.
“It’s a great experience to be a part of the Oliver Ames program because it’s a basketball town,” he said. “It’s been amazing to be a part of the program even as a freshman. And to have all the support from the town really means a lot.”