Nicknamed “Truck” because of his rock-solid frame and toughness inside, Fludd added finesse to his game this winter. He improved his perimeter skills – such as ball-handling and shooting – while remaining a beast in the lane and off the glass.
The result was a memorable final season for the Coney Island kid, who did the unthinkable three years ago – he left the hoops haven for rival Boys & Girls. The decision was a prudent one as the uncommitted senior won three PSAL Class AA city titles and a New York State Federation Class AA crown.
Nazareth's Brianna Butler
Leroy (Truck) Fludd
Fludd did everything imaginable this winter. He guarded the opposition’s top threats. He averaged Brooklyn AA-highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds. Most importantly, he was there leading and motivating his teammates every step of the way as Boys High’s lone returning starter.
Brianna Butler: Nazareth
There were so many obstacles that could have held Butler back. She transferred to Nazareth from Penn Charter (Pa.) only to be told she was ineligible to play before eventually being cleared. Then longtime coach Apache Paschall died of cardiac arrest in January, and Butler played through a knee injury late in the year.
Through it all the Syracuse-bound guard was a model of consistency and was named a McDonald’s All-American. Butler made things look effortless and was as good a passer and rebounder as she was a scorer. When she returned from a knee injury late in the season, Nazareth went on to win the CHSAA Class AA state title.
“She’s a talented and gifted athlete,” Naz co-coach Lauren Best said. “Only now people are seeing how good she really is here. She’s already displayed it across the country.”
Coaches of the year
Ruth Lovelace: Boys & Girls
There was a time not too long ago when Lovelace stood out because of her gender, a female coaching a boys basketball team. She still stands out, but because of her success, this being her greatest year yet.
Boys & Girls won a third straight PSAL Class AA crown, a program first, and also won the New York State Federation AA crown, the first time the Bed-Stuy school has ever claimed a state title.
Boys High wasn’t a preseason favorite after returning just one starter, Leroy (Truck) Fludd. Lovelace got the most of returning players Bryce Jones, Wesley Myers, Courtney Solomon and Shakur Pinder and melded in transfers Rashad Andrews, Tyliek Kimbrough and Joel Angus well. She pressed the right buttons and got the desired results.
Lauren Best & Ron Kelley: Nazareth
On Jan. 3, their lives were turned upside down. Best and Kelley, assistant coaches at Nazareth, were devastated by the sudden death of head coach Apache Paschall due to cardiac arrest. They were there by his bedside in the hospital and just days later had to flip the switch and get back into basketball mode as co-coaches.
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