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Archbishop Carroll's Brooke Wilson joins older sister with Army commitment

03/31/2023, 12:30pm EDT
By Andrew Robinson

Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3)

Brooke Wilson learned, in the best way possible, there’s always somebody watching.

Several times throughout the season, there were Army coaches in the stands at Archbishop Carroll games. This wasn’t anything out of place considering Brooke’s sister Taylor, a senior, had committed to West Point last summer but what Brooke, a junior, didn’t know - but secretly hoped - was that they were watching her too.

Army’s coaches had in fact been watching her intently and extended Brooke the same offer they’d extended Taylor to come to West Point, an offer Brooke gladly accepted.

“They were there to see both of us, I came to know,” Wilson said. “I never realized they were recruiting me as well, but they were. Throughout Taylor’s process, learning everything about it, it’s something where I felt like I would really fit in.

“I love a challenge. Going to West Point, it would be a challenge each and every day, and I want to have a purpose with my life.”

Archbishop Carroll junior Brooke Wilson committed to Army earlier this week. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

When Army was recruiting Taylor and hosted the 6-foot guard/forward for a visit, the entire family tagged along. It was her sister’s visit but Brooke, already a Division I prospect in her own right, couldn’t help but be drawn to the historic campus as well.

It’s a place where it’s hard not to cross paths with remarkable people, each of them there with a purpose. Every person the Wilsons met on that visit in June left an impression on Brooke, something registering with her that everything West Point is about was in line with how she’s wired.

When Taylor committed to Army and coach Missy Traversi, Brooke was elated for her sister. Her own recruitment was still open, but Army didn’t get into the mix as summer turned to fall and she and Taylor prepared for their last season as teammates at Carroll.

“Right when I stepped on campus, I felt ‘I could see myself here,’” Brooke said of the family visit last summer. “It was Taylor’s visit, I tried to stay in the background but I was observing everything, asking some questions and I really liked it but I kept it to myself.”

All season, Brooke didn’t think much when one of the Army coaches came to one of Carroll’s games, telling herself they were there to see her sister. She was more focused trying to help the Patriots navigate a brutal schedule, helping freshman Alexis Eberz adjust to high school basketball, integrate a new rotation of bench players and translate the gains in practice into the games.

On the court, she and Taylor did what was expected of them with both earning First Team All-PCL honors and getting Carroll into the PIAA Class 6A playoff field. At the start of what would turn into a special run ending in Hershey with a state title, Army let Brooke know they had in fact been watching.

They just had to clear it first.

“The Saturday after our Neshaminy game (in the first round of states), Coach Traversi called Taylor and asked her, ‘How would you feel about playing with your sister?’ I think they wanted to get her approval,” Brooke said. “Taylor, of course, approved and then Missy called me.

“I was so happy, I’d never thought it would happen.”

Brooke went downstairs where her family had gathered and excitedly shared the news. The junior guard had a handful of offers already and had started leaning heavily toward Drexel with St. Joe’s and Holy Cross also ramping up interest but the call from “Coach T” changed everything.

Brooke Wilson, left, and Taylor Wilson stand on the court together at the GIANT Center in Hershey last week. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Two weeks later, the Wilsons were back in West Point and Brooke made her formal commitment to join the Black Knights program. Her family knew and her sister knew, but even as Carroll advanced through the state tournament, not many others did.

Being asked quite a few times about what most thought was their time as teammates coming to an end, Brooke admitted it was tough to keep the news under wraps.

“We laughed about it so much,” Brooke said.

After she got the call from Traversi, Brooke went to break the news to her family, who she didn’t think expected her to take the offer. She went to her sister, gave her a hug and said the opposite: that she’d made the decision to attend West Point and reunite with Taylor for the 2024-25 season.

“She’s my best friend, so being able to be with her again is amazing,” Brooke said. “We all got emotional. Everyone started crying, it was a great night.”

The Wilsons don’t have any prior military service in their family, at least none that Brooke knew of, so it’s certainly unique both of them will play at Army then go on to serve as commissioned officers following graduation. Brooke, who described herself as a pretty regimented person, was drawn to the different stories of the officers she met on her visits and how all of them had a different path but shared a common goal of service.

It’s a trait she embodies on a basketball court, always one to say “Carroll did” instead of “I did,” embracing the responsibility of being a defensive stopper, a rugged rebounder or facilitator. That’s also a staple of service academy teams, using a collective effort over one or two stars to accomplish the objective.

“There’s no selfish motive, you can watch them play or how they speak to each other and the interactions between the coaches and the players, and see it,”  Brooke said. “No one is going to West Point for themselves or for their own gain. They’re doing it to serve their country.

“It’s who I am, I think of myself as a very unselfish person and want to be surrounded by that.”

Brooke also plays on Carroll’s state-champion lacrosse team — fittingly as a defensive-minded role player — and getting ready to head to practice this week, she figured it was time to let her basketball teammates know about her decision. She barely got out of her car before one of them, who happens to also be one of Carroll’s best lacrosse players, found her.

“No one knew I was even looking at West Point until I texted the basketball group chat and said ‘I just wanted to let you all know, I committed to West Point,’” Brooke said. “Megan Sheridan came running up to the car, bawling her eyes out, she gave me a hug and said ‘I’m so proud of you.’

“She works so hard, I look up to her and having her be that proud of me, it was a great moment.”

Wilson had a long list of people she credits for putting her in the position to be a candidate for West Point, starting with her sister, parents Jen and Dave and brother Jake. There are her teammates at Carroll and with her Comets GUAA team, Carroll coaches Renie Shields, Erin Shields and Mike Perretta and Comets coaches Kacy McNichol, Steve Gelone and Kiernan McCloskey.

With one last summer of AAU and a senior season at Carroll — one she’ll play as a defending state champion — Brooke Wilson won’t be slowing down soon. Not that she’d let herself anyway but there’s one thing she now knows better than most.

There’s always somebody watching.

“It changes nothing, I’m still going to continue to work hard,” Wilson said. “Now I know where I’m going, but that means I’m just going to keep working. It takes some stress off my shoulders, this AAU period I can play more for fun, I still want to play well, but it lets me play for my teammates and play for my organization and play for myself.”

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