By Joseph Staszewski
Kollyns Scarbrough gave everyone a glimpse in March of what may come in the near future — including herself.
The Christ the King rising junior blossomed into one of the city’s best young players by the end of her sophomore basketball season. She broke out in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens playoffs, became the Royals’ most consistent player behind star Sierra Calhoun and helped lead the Middle Village school to the diocesan championship.
Scarbrough had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the title game against Bishop Ford and 16 points during an upset of nationally ranked Nazareth in the semifinals.
“It gave me confidence, but it also gave me a harder work ethic,” she said. “I felt like if I can do that much, just think what I could do if I keep improving. It just made me more ready to work.”
It has pushed Scarbrough, a workaholic already, in the gym and weight room. Friends have commented on her more muscular frame, telling her she looks bigger.
NYC Warriors Coach Joe Deluca said Scarbrough came into the summer looking to improve her basketball handling and jump shot.
She has already proven to be an adept rebounder and inside scorer. Kollyns, however, understands at the next level her 5-foot-11 frame will put her out on the wing and her improved guard skills will make her a difficult cover for the Royals. She has done endless drills with Deluca with that in mind.
“You practice so much you help your mindset,” Scarbrough said.
Deluca feels her improvement from the perimeter has aided the rest of her game. This summer she has often penetrated and fed the Warriors shooters for open jumpers, scoring herself and limiting turnovers. Scarbrough was leading the break in her team’s first-round, Gold-bracket playoff win over the VA-Cardinal Elite at the USJN/Nike National Championships in District Heights, Md.
She did the same as the Warriors won the White bracket at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Chicago last week, including a memorable 31-point performance.
“Everyone was filling the lanes and it just clicked,” Deluca said. “It’s made everyone else’s job on the team a lot easier. It’s going to benefit her at CK next year, too.”
Scarbrough has gotten college coaches to begin to talk and inquire about her, but she knows there is still plenty of work ahead. Scarbrough will be a vital piece next season for the Royals as they look to repeat as Brooklyn/Queens champs and earn a trip to the state Federation tournament in Albany.
“She didn’t realize she could do half of the things she is capable of doing,” Deluca said. “Once she realized she could do it, it opened up a lot of things for her. There is no limit to her.”