Izaiah Brockington, Son Of Coppin State Legend, Looking Forward To NBA Draft

Former Iowa State hoops standout Izaiah Brockington has long been following in the footsteps of his father and Coppin State legend Antoine Brockington, and that path may soon lead him to the NBA.

Antoine averaged 16.5 points and 3.3 rebounds during his three years for the Eagles as a 6-foot-2 guard. He was part of Coppin’s historic NCAA Tournament upset of South Carolina in 1997, scoring 20 points in the victory. He then earned MEAC Player of the Year honors in 1997-98, averaging 20.3 points per game that season.

Izaiah, now 22 years old, began playing basketball when he was 3 under the tutelage of his dad.

“I was sort of a daddy’s boy. I always wanted to go wherever he was,” Izaiah said on Glenn Clark Radio April 21. “Whenever he would go to gyms and things like that, that’s all anybody would talk about. Everybody would be like, ‘Your dad was this and that back in the day,’ and everything like that. I never went anywhere without somebody telling me how good he was, and they were like, ‘You’re going to be better than him,’ and things like that.”

Izaiah, though, would eventually get the better of his dad on the hardwood. It just took until Izaiah was 16 years old as a junior at Archbishop Ryan in Philadelphia. (Izaiah was born in Towson but grew up in Philadelphia.)

“One time we were on opposite teams and I was guarding him and he tried to hit me with his patented move,” Izaiah said. “I’ve been watching it for 16 years. I know what’s coming. You’re about to kick your leg out so that I can’t get to you. But he tried his move and I blocked it and I went down the other end and dunked it. The whole gym [loved it].”

Izaiah allows that Antoine can still shoot the ball, but Antoine isn’t too interested in battling his son on the basketball court anymore. That’s probably for good reason. Izaiah made three stops in college, first at St. Bonaventure (2017-18), then at Penn State (2018-2021) and finally at Iowa State (2021-22). His best year was his final one, when the 6-foot-4, 196-pound guard averaged 16.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in 35 games.

Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger was hired by the school after the 2020-21 season and executed one of the most stunning turnarounds in recent college hoops history. The Cyclones finished 22-13 overall and 7-11 in the Big 12, earning a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State upset LSU and Wisconsin during the first weekend before falling to Miami in the Sweet 16. Iowa State had gone 2-22 overall and 0-18 in the Big 12 the year prior.

How did the Cyclones pull off such a remarkable turnaround? Some new blood certainly helped. None of Iowa State’s top five scorers were on the team a year prior.

“Really, it started with Coach T.J. knowing the type of system that he wanted to run and just getting a group of guys that he felt would buy in, gel well together as far as personalities and playing styles and then going out there and executing,” Brockington said. “Obviously, everybody there had heard or had been there through the really tough two-win season the year before. We just went out there trying to prove that we weren’t them. We were a completely different team with a completely different coach, scheme and everything.”

As a player who spent five years in college, Brockington knows he won’t be viewed the same way as younger players who are perceived to possess more potential, but he wants NBA teams to know that he can contribute. He has played in three good conferences in the Atlantic 10, Big Ten and Big 12. He has played for three different coaches. He has been the best player on a team that made the NCAA Tournament.

He’s been there, done that.

“When you’re older, you’re kind of looked at as used goods. They feel like you’ll plateau quicker,” Brockington said. “But I want teams to know that I’ve gotten better every year that I’ve been in college and that’s not something that is going to stop once I leave college. I feel like my work ethic and my willingness to be coachable and my willingness to learn is something that’s always going to follow me. I want to show them that age is not a red flag or something that needs to be worried about with me. I know what needs to be done.”

For more from Brockington, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Iowa State Athletics

Luke Jackson

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