Bryant McIntosh stood near a basketball court so very familiar to him last month when a woman he didn’t know approached him.
“I’ve waited eight years to watch you play,” she said.
The 6-foot-4 senior guard had been a student in the New Castle school district all the way through his freshman year when his family moved to Greensburg.
Now, as a member of the defending Class 3A state champion Pirates, McIntosh would be playing two games inside Chrysler Fieldhouse at the prestigious Hall of Fame Classic.
The court’s parquet design proved fitting considering the various emotions felt by the McIntosh family. Bryant’s exit from New Castle had not been especially pleasant.
His parents, Scott and Shelly McIntosh, alleged that in a game during the 2010-11 season, Trojans coach Steve Bennett struck McIntosh, then a freshman, in the midsection as he came off the court.
Bennett kept his job, coaching through the 2012-2013 season for what amounted to a 16-year run at New Castle. Prior to taking the New Castle job, Bennett served as boys basketball coach at Franklin Community High School.
Scott and Shelly sought legal action against Bennett and, in time, a change of scenery.
“The five of us moved into a two-bedroom apartment (in Greensburg) and lived there for a year. But we made it work,” Scott said.
Did they ever.
McIntosh, who in November signed a national letter of intent to play at Northwestern University, is a strong candidate to be named to the 2014 Indiana boys All-Star Team.
Meanwhile, Taylor McIntosh is an outstanding sophomore player for Greensburg’s girls varsity basketball squad. The youngest sibling, 7-year-old brother, Jarrett, is also a budding hoops talent.
Bryant McIntosh’s return to New Castle on Dec. 28 proved both difficult and rewarding.
He managed only a season-low three points on 1-of-7 shooting in the Pirates’ 48-37 semifinal victory over Mt. Vernon. McIntosh bounced back strong with 27 points in the 65-59 win over Columbus North a few hours later in the championship game and was named tournament MVP.
For the season, McIntosh is one of four Pirates averaging double-figures in points. His 14.9 norm is second behind 6-6 Ball State-bound forward Sean Sellers’ 17.6. McIntosh also delivers 8.5 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
McIntosh is 62-3 in a Greensburg uniform going into Friday’s home game against Lawrenceburg. The undisputed highlight to date has been the senior’s 25-point performance in the Pirates’ 73-70 overtime victory over Fort Wayne Concordia in the 2013 Class 3A state championship game.
“It’s been an incredible experience. The community has really rallied around us with all our success and it’s just been a great time,” McIntosh said. “The best part is just the bond we’ve formed. We hang out together. We eat together. Just the bond that we have we’ll have the rest of our lives.
“I think we kind of take (the success) for granted. I think when I’m about 40-years old and look back, I’ll think, ‘Gosh, we did some things that are impressive.’ “