Mr. Underrated: Marvin Mcbroom (Northland College)
The life of a college basketball player that everyone usually identifies with are the ones playing at major division 1 universities, and showcasing their talents in front of the entire country. However, this only applies to a small percentage of college basketball players. Many athletes who are under-recruited coming out of high school, have a very tough journey completing a college basketball career. For Marvin Mcbroom of Northland College, his journey was far from traditional.
Mcbroom graduated from Vallejo High School in 2019 where he played 2 years of junior varsity before coming off the bench for 2 years at the varsity level. He also played AAU for Team Rampage where he never made the top teams during his time with the program, and was still able to develop and more importantly compete at the college level.
“Playing independent for aau was a good experience overall despite its ups and downs. Even though I didn’t play on the circuit or play on the elite team for my AAU team or get heavily recruited, I still had a good experience and was still able to get some college looks and find a home which is the ultimate goal”.
In a world where many players and even their parents feel like they have to play on the circuit and/or on the “elite” team in order to get college looks, Mcbroom was able to get recruited while doing neither one, and not even starting at his high school. I always use his story as an example for kids today because many chase levels, and think that they have to start, or have to be on the main team which isn’t always true. His perseverance and passion for the game led him into not only being a college basketball player, but also being able to take the ups and downs that can come with it.
After graduating from high school Mcbroom found himself attending a junior college in South Dakota before the season ended up getting canceled due to the pandemic.
“When my season got canceled it was tough and on top of that my coach got fired so I had to find a new home, it was hard I wasn’t getting a lot of looks cause of the transfer portal, so I just put my head down and went to work, gyms were closed so I worked out at the park with my old aau coach Brandon Bracy. Before the summer was over I was able to find a new juco called Ridgewater out in Minnesota”.
After relocating to Minnesota from South Dakota, Mcbroom was ready to make an impact after spending hours per day training during the pandemic. His game had gotten a lot better, and I was excited to see him flourish at his new home. Unfortunately, the season would get cancelled again in 2021 due to the pandemic still lingering.
“It was tough just because my season also got canceled again because of covid when I was out in Minnesota at Ridgewater, so I went back home to play at Marin but I broke my foot that summer also. When I got back healthy I played one year at Marin And I was able to pick up a couple offers from D3s and NAIA schools, and I ended up committing to the D3 Northland college”.
The perseverance and the journey of this story is something that all players and parents in youth sports should definitely pay attention to. If you really love this game, you will be willing to relocate to whatever destination that will provide you the opportunity to play. Even after a tough injury he still kept going, and kept believing in the work he put in.
“Advice I would give someone afraid to leave home for college is that it would help you grow and live on your own. On top of that you will be able to see new places and learn different cultures. Playing basketball out of state has brought me to different places I never thought I be in, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. At the end of the day home is always going to be home its not going anywhere, get out and explore !”
For Mcbroom currently he has had a solid start to the season competing at the Division 3 level. There is good solid basketball in Division 3 and many sleep on the amount of players that either transfer up to a D1 from D3, or transfer down from a D1 to a D3. Plenty of players playing D3 basketball are more than capable of competing at the D1 & D2 level.
“D3 competition is really good especially in my area in Wisconsin, one of the best d3 conferences is in Wisconsin the WIAC. I’ve had the chance to play against 2 nationally ranked teams. People might look over d3 basketball but it’s a lot of good Hoopers out there”.
Another good thing that’s good about playing D3 basketball in one of the best conferences in the country, is many D1 teams will be willing to schedule exhibition games with you. Mcbroom has had the opportunity of playing against two D1 teams already, North & South Dakota. Despite the losses, Mcbroom and his team were able to gain valuable experiences going forward.
“As a D3 player having the chance to play a couple of D1 opponents was fun and it taught me a lot. I wouldn’t say it’s a whole lot different from D3 physically, other than players might be a little faster and jump a little higher. The biggest difference between D3 and D1 basketball is shot-making! Shot-making at the D1 level is different, you can’t give them an inch of space even their 3rd strings! At the end of the day you can’t be scared playing against them, they have to put on their shoes and jersey just like you do”.
Our whole program is proud of what Marvin Mcbroom has become, and how he has preserved his way into having a solid college basketball career despite the adversity. Athletes and their parents must understand that while in high school, the only thing that matters is development, and how much you love the game. With proper development and passion for the game, you can go very far in this sport even if you don’t start at your high school, or play on the top AAU team.