When he was a freshman at Northwest Cabarrus High three years ago, David Broome turned the Trojans' gymnasium into his personal classroom.
"Shocked" that he was cut from the junior varsity basketball team, Broome was determined to not let it happen again.
"It motivated me to prove myself and to others that I can play basketball and help the team and the school," he said. "After a week of pouting, I changed my whole outlook. I tried to turn a negative into a positive experience."
Among the things that helped him prepare for the following season's tryouts was attending all of the Trojans' home games and scouting what the team did on the floor.
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"I was analyzing how they communicated and what kind of defense they played," he said. "When they passed the ball I would watch if they would cut, or if someone took a shot I would watch when they would rebound and box out."
Not only did he make the team his sophomore year, but Broome's drive to become a superior basketball player laid the foundation for the rest of his high school career.
Calling him "one of the most mentally tough players" he's ever coached, Trojans head coach Daniel Jenkins believes Broome can have a breakout year offensively, complementing the senior leader's repertoire of solid defense, rebounding and hustle.
Between the 2007-08 and the 2008-09 seasons, Broome became a fixture at the YMCA, working on his shot for one or two hours a day, and at all of the basketball team's off-season workouts. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he scouted his future teammates.
Following the advice of his father and JV coach Shane Watson, Broome sought to get himself in better physical condition by joining the cross country team in the fall of his sophomore year. Broome didn't crack the cross country varsity starting lineup until this season, but it helped him nurture his lights-out work ethic.
Broome earned a starting varsity position as a sophomore and continued to improve into his junior season. He began his first season as a reserve but moved into the starting lineup by the end of the campaign.
As a 6-foot-3 wingman, Broome scrapped for eight or nine rebounds a game and averaged six points.
Occasionally he would reach double figures in the scoring column, but Jenkins expects him to find the basket more this year.
"He definitely is one of our best shooters this year," said Jenkins. "He's going to score a lot from running up and down the court. He's never going to quit out there. If a play gets behind him he's going to sprint to get back. He will be a big part of the success we have."
In high school baseball, Broome, an outfielder, played two seasons with the junior varsity and last year with the varsity. In cross country, he cracked the Trojans' top seven this season and posted his personal best time (18 minutes, 51 seconds) in his final race, at regionals at Charlotte's McAlpine Park last month.
Broome's commitment to making a difference extends beyond athletics. As a member of Northwest's BETA Club, he volunteers at soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
With the school's AWSUM Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Broome has assisted with Cabarrus County's Special Olympics and has mentored at-risk students at Boger Elementary.
Broome hopes a college basketball career is in his future, but if it doesn't work out he still plans to earn a degree, most likely in teaching. "I just like helping people," he says.