By Joseph Staszewski

ALBANY – Lauren “Boogie” Brozoski couldn’t have scripted a better end to her career.

The Long Island Lutheran girls’ basketball star and Cambria Heights resident finished as a four-time state Federation champion, the New York State Gatorade Player of the Year and New York State Miss Basketball.

The final image of the 5-foot-5 guard in a Crusaders uniform will be in a slight crouch with her teammates getting ready to rush the court to celebrate the school’s second straight Class AA Federation title. It makes them the first team to repeat since Murry Bergtraum in 2008 and 2007.

“Perfect,” the Michigan-bound Brozoski said. “The definition of perfect, it was just amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

She scored 30 points against Ossining in the Federation semifinals and 24 to help beat Christ the King 66-52 in the title game. Brozoski, who has played at LuHi since the eighth grade, also reached the 2,000-point mark of her career in the win over the Royals.

CK coach Bob Mackey, who saw Brozoski drop 30 points on his team in the regular season, knew he had the task of trying to stop a special player. She gets into the lane for her teammates and is a force defensively also. He said you run out of ways of trying to contain her.

“Lauren is a cut above,” Mackey said. “Lauren is ready right now for what she is going to play next year. She really is. She is the best player in the state no doubt.”

Her on-court accomplishments, which include Federation titles in three classifications, is only a small part of what makes Brozoski the phenom she is if you ask LuHi coach Rich Slater. It is her passion, toughness, success in the classroom and the way she interacts with people that sets her apart.

“She shakes everybody’s hand, she says hello, she’s humble,” said Slater, who has known her since she was in the fifth grade. “She’s respectful. That’s the stuff that’s a once in a lifetime thing.”

He talked about how she became a different player when she wasn’t selected to the McDonald’s All-American team, an honor she felt she more than deserved. It is quite possibly the only thing missing from her resumé. The next day in practice, Brozoski raised her intensity and focus another few notches. She actually became more relaxed on the floor by doing so.

“When I know that I should be on something and I kind of feel like I get snubbed, I take it personal,” Brozoski said. “I’m easily motivated. When they hurt me, I take them to another level.”

She knows she will need to do that again as she heads to Michigan. The Wolverines and coach Kim Barnes Arico will be looking to get back to the NCAA tournament after falling in the WNIT semifinals this year.

Brozoski is looking forward to and understands the challenge ahead and the need to get stronger. Looking ahead is easy. Looking back on what she did and the place and people she leaves behind after five years will be harder.

“I grew up in the school,” Brozoski said. “It’s going to be very tough. I’m going to miss it.”

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