Hoop dreams: Moffat County’s Brooke Gumber signs with Gillette College basketball
Another Moffat County High School athlete will be taking the next step in the sports, thanks to being a towering presence during the season.
MCHS senior Brooke Gumber signed her letter of intent Wednesday to compete for Gillette College in Gillette, Wyoming, playing hoops for the Pronghorns this coming fall on a full-ride scholarship.
Brooke said she was approached by a representative of the two-year institution while the Lady Bulldog basketball team was at March’s 3A State Championships in Denver.
While the group ultimately finished fourth, a blowout of top-ranked Kent Denver only got better for her.
“The coach came up to me after our first game and said, ‘I’d like to recruit you,'” she said.
She had also considered attending Lakewood’s Colorado Christian University, garnering a scholarship offer after a tryout, though she opted for Gillette instead.
“The gym at Gillette is amazing, it’s like a real stadium, and it’s only a year old,” she said.
She plans to study elementary education with a goal of becoming a grade school teacher.
MCHS coaches Kenley Nebeker, Joe Padon and Tanya Twitchell were on hand as she completed the paperwork to commit to the program.
“It’s a real privilege to have gotten to coach her,” Nebeker said. “I’ve been on the other side of this as far as a college coach recruiting a kid, but to be a coach whose player is signing for a full ride is really special to me.”
The majority of the girls basketball team also dropped by the commons area for the ceremony to support their teammate and grab a slice of cake provided by Nebeker’s wife, Jen, decorated in school colors white, methane blue and coal black.
Brooke’s senior season with Moffat County was strong on both sides of the court.
While no slouch on scoring, averaging seven points per game, her true domain was beneath the basket, leading the team and the 3A Western Slope League in total rebounds with 212 on the season, seventh overall in the 3A division.
Also the only player in the conference to gain four double-doubles, Brooke was often the tallest girl on the floor at six foot, one inch, not unlike her older brother, Javen, who at 6′ 8″, was a star for Moffat County hoops and later Fruita Monument, graduating in 2016 and moving on to attend Air Force Academy.
Still, her height was only part of her game, Nebeker said.
“A saying we have is ‘hard work always pays off,’ and Brooke is the perfect example of that,” he said. “When I started, Brooke was the first person I saw in the gym and the first person to start working with me as a coach. Her work ethic has always stood out from the time I first met her to today.”
Brooke added she was pleased to have one final team gathering with the coaches she’s been with over recent seasons and the girls who have been her teammates even before high school before moving on to the next level in the sport she loves.
“I want to thank everyone for pushing me to be the best I could be so that I could have this great opportunity,” she said.
The National Junior High Finals Rodeo will be bringing in the top cowboy and cowgirl athletes from June 23 to 29 in Huron, South Dakota.