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02/09/2022 11:00 PM

Naccarato’s a Rising Star for the Knights

Brandon Naccarato is putting himself on the map by having a big junior season for the Westbrook boys’ basketball team. Photo courtesy of Brandon Naccarato

Brandon Naccarato is emerging as a legitimate star with Westbrook boys’ basketball team. A junior guard, Brandon’s averaging nearly 20 points per game for the Knights this season.

Brandon tallied a career-best total of 37 points when Westbrook faced Coginchaug on the road on Jan. 7. Brandon’s performance helped the Knights claim a 60-53 victory the against the Blue Devils.

“That was definitely my favorite moment as a player so far,” says Brandon. “Catching fire and scoring 37 points was an incredible feeling. It was great to make a big impact on the game and lead my team to a big win.”

Brandon spent many hours working on his game at the Valley-Shore YMCA throughout the offseason. Brandon made a few adjustments to his shooting form and continues to look for other ways in which he can refine his craft.

“During the season, I make adjustments to improve my game and skillset. I have several coaches around me who give me advice and improvements I can implement,” Brandon says. “I also play AAU basketball in the spring. This experience gives me practice against excellent competition.”

Westbrook Head Coach Jeff Beeman calls Brandon one of the best scorers he’s ever worked with during his time with the Knights. Brandon’s ability to score at will is what impresses Coach Beeman the most.

“Brandon is our leading scorer so far this year at approximately 19 a game. He may be the best player getting to the basket I have ever coached, and he is amazing driving to his weak hand,” says Beeman. “Brandon is a passionate competitor who is learning how hard you need to work in order to win.”

Brandon admits that he did a lot of growing up during his first three years of high school. Brandon appreciates how Coach Beeman has been in his corner to support him and says that their bond is a strong as ever.

“My relationship with my head coach has improved significantly throughout my first three years with the team,” Brandon says. “Coach Beeman helps my team and I improve every day, both on and off the court. He has lots of experience and success with coaching and has a lot of valuable insight on the game.”

Another person who has inspired Brandon’s love for basketball is his older brother Jack Naccarato. Jack was a 1,000-point scorer when he competed for Westbrook.

“I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I love playing against my older brother Jack,” says Brandon. “He brings a competitive nature to every game we play, and he’s always pushing me to be better.”

Aside from basketball, Brandon is also a member of the Westbrook boys’ outdoor track and field team. As a sophomore, Brandon finished seventh in the 100-meter dash at the Class S State Championship. He also helped his 4x100 relay enjoy some postseason success.

“My 4x100 relay team placed second in the Shoreline Championship and fifth in the state tournament,” Brandon says. “I also placed seventh in all of Class S in the 100, which I was really proud of.”

Brandon is looking for Westbrook boys’ hoops to qualify for the playoffs by making both Shorelines and states this winter. The Knights are heading into the home stretch of the regular season, and Brandon wants to help them finish strong.

“I believe, as a team, we can exceed expectations and win multiple games in both of these tournaments,” says Brandon. “I feel the season is going fairly well and, if we continue to work hard, we will be rewarded with some big wins down the stretch.”