Thursday, February 22, 2007

Brandon Costner's Dad

Neat article about Brandon's Dad

Toward the end of an N.C. State basketball game this season, Wolfpack forward Brandon Costner was struggling from the free--throw line. After he had missed a few foul shots, loud instructions began to boom from the front row, from the mouth of a man who towered over everyone seated around him.

It was Costner's father, Tony, all 7 feet of him.

After the game, Brandon was asked if he could hear his father's tips while on the court.

"No," he said, before ruefully adding, "but I'm sure I'll hear about it later."

That's the way it always has been with Costner and son. Dad, once a star at St. Joseph's, was drafted by the NBA's Washington Bullets and had a lengthy career in Europe. Now his oldest son is trying to follow in his footsteps and perhaps surpass him. All along, Tony Costner has been there for Brandon, but the helping hand has rarely been gentle.

"Yeah, I'm tough on him," Tony Costner said, "because I know he's a talented kid. He's a talented player. I'm glad that the ACC is getting to know how talented he is."

It took the league awhile. Though Costner is a freshman ---- albeit one who played a handful of games last season before taking a medical redshirt ---- he was an afterthought during preseason voting for ACC rookie of the year. He was overshadowed by the likes of Georgia Tech's Thaddeus Young and North Carolina's Brandan Wright, one of his opponents tonight when the Wolfpack plays at Chapel Hill (9, WFMY--2).

Yet three--quarters of the way through the league schedule, Costner leads ACC rookies in scoring (16.1 points) and rebounding (7.9).

Those are impressive numbers for a first--year college player, but Costner shrugs it off, in the same way he seems unimpressed with how well he played against UNC's front line (15 points, 11 rebounds) the first time the teams met this season.

"It really isn't as much of a big deal as people make it out to be," he said. "It's just playing basketball."