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Girl player transfers in, turns heads

Ericka Brosterhous has yet to score a point, grab a rebound or blocka shot for the North Medford High girls basketball team, but the 6-foot-3center has already made an impact in the Rogue Valley.

Brosterhous moved to Medford earlier this month and has been starringin summer league games.

She's definitely an impact player, said North Medford coachMike Kay as he watched Brosterhous run up and down the court during a clinicat the North gym this week. Obviously, she's going to help our program.

Brosterhous is a daughter of former Klamath Union High School star B.G.Brosterhous, who played at the University of Texas and then spent 15 yearsplaying professionally in France.

Ericka's uncles ­ Rick and Greg Brosterhous ­ were college athletesat the University of Oregon.

My dad and mom met on a basketball court and I've spent quite abit of my life in the gym, Ericka said during a break at the clinicWednesday. I've been playing since I was a little girl, but I've nevergotten tired of it.

Ericka's parents were divorced six years ago and she moved to Salem withher father and stepmother a little over two years ago. Until then, she'dlived her whole life in France.

She was the starting center for McNary High, averaging 17 points andnine rebounds per game as a junior last season.

She has good post-up moves around the basket but she's also a goodshooter up to 15 feet, Kay said. She also runs the court extremelywell. It's not unusual for her to grab the rebound, make the outlet passand then score at the opposite end. She really moves well for a big kid.

Brosterhous is happy to be playing for the Black Tornado, which won 20games last season and could field one of the better teams in the state nextwinter.

It was tough leaving France two years ago and it was tough leavingmy friends behind in Salem, said Brosterhous, who speaks fluent Frenchand Italian as well as English. But the girls here have gone out oftheir way to be nice, and I'm really looking forward to playing here. There'sa lot of talent. I wish the season started tomorrow.

Brosterhous, who also plays volleyball and is a high jumper and hurdlerin track, has received a lot of pointers from her father, who served asa volunteer assistant coach at McNary the past two years.

He's helped me with my low-post moves, he's worked with me on myshot and he's shown me some tricks on defense, Ericka said.

And during games, he yells at me in French.

North Medford graduated two first-team all-conference players (BrookeCarrigan and Shelly Bruce), one second-team all-conference player (JennCox) and a fourth starter (Kelly Dixon) from last season's team that went20-4.

Kay, however, said his 1997-98 squad could be his best yet at North.

Not only will the Tornado be able to put a trio of 6-footers on the courtat the same time (Brosterhous, senior Jenny Jackson and sophomore TressaManwarring), but in junior Ashlee Giles it will also have one of the bestguards in the Southern Oregon Conference.

We're very excited about the possibilities, Kay said.

When Kay watched Brosterhous jump up and grab the rim this week, he askedher, Can you dunk?

Only a softball, she said with a smile. My hands aren'tbig enough to dunk a basketball.

Possibilities, indeed.