MEDFORD — Brennan Morris’ blessed basketball life came to a screeching halt last winter.
As a senior at Pinkerton, he made the Eagle-Tribune Super Team. A couple years ago as a post-grad at Loomis Chaffee, he started along four Division 1 college recruits (Stanford, Davidson, Fairfield, North Carolina Central) and made honorable mention all-conference.
He starred in the preseason at Tufts last year, showing people why he had a full scholarship offer to St. Anselm. When he began to tire easily, he assumed it was just the long days of studying at one of America’s elite schools and the rigors of college ball.
But the weight kept coming off and the stamina was nowhere to be found.
“It was a mono-type thing,” he explained. “I lost 20-something pounds and had two infections. I didn’t think I was sick, at first. I was just really tired. It went all downhill and I went to the doctor.”
Nothing went right on the court as the 6-5, 200-pound sharpshooter from East Hampstead saw minimal time and averaged a pedestrian 1.8 points a game on just .409 shooting.
Some may have panicked. So many kids transfer these days.
But the struggles made Morris even more confident of his decision.
“I made the decision because it was such a high academics school,” said Morris. “I’m getting a great education, that was my No. 1 priority.”
The grades weren’t affected.
“I think I have a 3.6 GPA,” said Morris, who aspires to be an environmental lawyer.
After a summer of lifeguarding at Hampton Beach, he returned ready to live up to the hype.
Now healthy, Tufts fans see what the buzz was about. Through four games this season for the 2-2 Jumbos, he’s averaging 13.3 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting a gaudy .581 from the floor and .600 (9-of-15) on 3-pointers.
“It’s gone pretty well,” said Morris, a former Moynihan Lumber Scholar-Athlete of the Month at Pinkerton, where he graduated No. 6 in a class of about 800 students.
“There were a lot of seniors last year. I knew I’d have a bigger role. I was tired and sick all the time. It was pretty sucky. This year is definitely way better.”