Broome and Klein Share Amateur Athlete of the Month Honor for February park
Brandy Broome, a senior forward for the SUNO women's basketball team, and Paul Klein, a star wrestler for Brother Martin High School, have been selected as co-winners of the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month honor for February. The monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Award Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Broome, one of the more versatile players in the country, led the Lady Knights to a 6-1 record in the month of February, averaging 17.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 6.6 steals and 2.4 blocks, including four 20-point games and five double-doubles. The 5-9 senior forward capped the month by tallying a quadruple double with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals in a 92-72 win over Talladega to celebrate her Senior Day. She also scored 14 points and tallied 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Knights to an 81-71 victory over Xavier on Feb. 23 to clinch their second Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular season title in history and their first since the 1999-2000 season. SUNO closed the regular season with a 19-4 overall record, including 13-1 in league play. The top candidate for league Player of the Year honors, Broome is the GCAC's leader in scoring (18.7), assists (5.9) and steals (6.1) and ranks second in rebounding (9.86) and blocks (1.95), while pacing the league with 13 double-doubles. She has been named the GCAC Player of the Week eight times this season. Her steal average leads NAIA Division I by more than two steals per game and she ranks 11th in rebounding in the nation.
Klein, meanwhile, won his unprecedented fourth state title in four years as he closed out one of the more impressive eras in Louisiana high school wrestling history – it is the first time in 71 years of the Louisiana state wrestling tournament that an individual has won four titles. An Arizona State signee, he was also tabbed the most outstanding grappler in all of Division I after completing an undefeated season at 44-0 – all while wrestling with a torn ACL. Among many honors, he was named a National High School Coaches Association Junior All-American and a Wrestling USA All-American His title at 132 pounds helped lead Brother Martin to its fourth consecutive team state championship in Division I as the Crusaders scored 310 points to Jesuit's 270.5. The state title was the 16th in school history for the Crusaders outstanding wrestling program. Klein completed his amazing career with an astonishing 166-10 mark, including 82 pins. He also holds a 3.4 gpa in the classroom.
Broome and Klein were not the only standout candidates for the February honor. Former Riverside Academy star Rico Gathers averaged 13.4 points and 11.3 rebounds as he led Baylor to a 6-2 record in February. He is currently the nation's leading rebounder with 11.9 per game. Colin Hanley, the senior goalkeeper for St. Paul's men's soccer team, did not allow a shot to get past him in the entire Division 1 state soccer championship – five straight shutouts. In the state title match, a 3-0 win over Jesuit, Hanley preserved the shutout streak with a sensational late-game save.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.