Sports Person of the Week
Engels Producing Points as a Senior
Shooting guard Brenden Engels is proving a reliable scorer in his senior season with the Westbrook boys’ basketball team. (Photo courtesy of Brenden Engels )
The Westbrook boys’ basketball team is in the midst of a challenging season, but one of the bright spots for the Knights has been the performance of senior shooting guard Brenden Engels. Brenden has played at the varsity level all four years of high school and, now a senior, he’s contributing for Westbrook on a nightly basis.
Basketball was always Brenden’s favorite sport while growing up. Brenden learned a lot about the game from both his father and his friends.
“I had some of my best memories with my friends through basketball. I’ve been playing since I was five years old,” says Brenden. “My dad [Steve] grew up playing basketball and had a love for the game, which he shared with me. He coached my travel basketball teams and all the way through my early basketball career. He taught me all the fundamentals of the game and worked with me year after year in the driveway.”
Brenden is scoring an average of 10 points per game for Westbrook this season. He’s considered one of the sharpshooters for Head Coach Jeff Beeman’s team. Beeman has enjoyed watching Brenden progress these past four years and was pleased to see the senior recently start in the same game as his brother Ryan, a sophomore.
“Brenden has been a four-year contributor to the basketball program. He is physically gifted and has the ability to dribble and shoot long-range threes,” Beeman says. “It was fun to have Brenden and [his] brother Ryan start a varsity level game together alongside the senior Jack Naccarato and his sophomore brother Brandon Naccarato—only in a small school like Westbrook. I hope we have been able to teach Brenden enough about the game and that he has enjoyed his experience, so he will continue to play recreationally in the future.”
Brenden will always cherish the moments that he’s spent playing alongside his brother as members of the Knights. Brenden also remembers that big moment when he netted his first varsity points as a freshman.
“Scoring my first varsity point my freshman year was awesome. It was only a layup, but it was still a special moment,” Brenden says. “And with my brother, it’s been fun seeing him starting to get some varsity minutes and develop his own game for the future of Westbrook basketball.”
Westbrook has seen some struggles since earning a 73-62 victory versus Old Lyme on Feb. 16. Brenden knows that the Knights will be entering the Shoreline Conference Tournament as underdogs, but he still expects them to compete with the best of teams in the league.
“Early in the season, we played quite a bit better,” says Brenden. “My hopes for the rest of the season have moved to trying to win as many late-season games as possible and proving people wrong in the Shorelines.”
Aside from basketball, Brenden also played for the Westbrook boys’ soccer team as a center back. Brenden says he enjoys both sports, but that if he had to choose, basketball is his favorite. When he isn’t playing basketball or soccer, Brenden likes spending time with his friends and working on cars.
“I prefer basketball. I enjoy the sport more overall compared to soccer,” Brenden says. “But training in soccer has boosted my endurance and made me a stronger and better athlete all-around.”
Brenden credits both his father and Coach Beeman for helping him become the basketball player that he is today. Brenden also feels that his offseason work ethic is another key reason why he’s improved so drastically these past four years.
“[Coach Beeman] pushes me to work harder and reach my full potential,” says Brenden. “In the offseason, I hit the gym and lift as often as I can. I also am constantly working on my shooting form, and it’s made me a better player.”