Bronakowski signs basketball letter of intent with CMU

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Charlie Bronakowski recently inked a letter of intent with basketball at Central Methodist University in Fayette. On hand during the signing last week in the media center at Boonville High School were (front row, left to right) John Bronakowski, Charlie Bronakowski and Jill Birch. (back row, left to right) Boonville Athletic Director Chris Shikles, CMU assistant coach Matt Sherman, Boonville boys basketball coach Mark Anderson, Boonville assistant coach Brock Hill, CMU men’s basketball coach Jeff Sherman and Boonville Principal Tim Edwards.

Seeing is believing, or in this case believing is seeing.

That’s how Boonville senior standout Charlie Bronakowski perceived signing a basketball letter of intent with Central Methodist University in Fayette.

After a stellar career with the Boonville Pirates basketball team in which Bronakowski led the team in scoring the last two years, Bronakowski decided that 15 miles from Boonville to Fayette is a good distance to go to school.

“I chose CMU because I wanted to stay closer to home and after I took a step back to see the whole picture, I just felt that CMU is a better choice.,” Bronakowski said.

CMU men’s basketball coach Jeff Sherman is also glad that Bronakowski picked the Eagles. Sherman said Bronakowski is CMU’s first signing for the 2021-22 season.

“We’ve known Charlie for a long time and he's one that we would recruited if he was four or five states away,” Sherman said. “To have him only 15 miles away, that is a win, win, because I've been wanting to get a local player, one that's going to have the upside that he does. He's going to have a tremendous future. Look at his size already. That doesn't happen, and this is what everybody else is telling me. He's just a better kid outside of all those his talents. We're just a static. We just think this is going to be a phenomenal relationship. He's going to help our program, but more importantly, I hope that we're going to do the type of things that's going to allow him to flourish, reach his full potential, and have an amazing career, and whatever he wants to do when he's done at Central.”

In 23 games this past season for the Pirates, Bronakowski finished with an average of 21.4 ppg along with 7.8 rpg, 2.2 apg and 2.0 spg. He also shot 47.7 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from the three-point arc and 72.7 percent from the foul line. 

Bronakowski also had a season-high 30 points against California and 27 against Southern Boone in the Tri-County Conference Tournament.

Boonville Pirates basketball coach Mark Anderson, who has coached Bronakowski the last two years, said you get lucky sometimes when you take a new job and have a player like Charlie. “I knew he had a heck of a year as a sophomore but then I watched film on him and one of the big reasons that I was excited about taking this job was him,” Anderson said. “It’s been a pleasure to coach him for two years. He’s obviously a great player, but he is also a great person and a really good representative of your program that works hard in practice. He was elected captain by our players two straight years. 

“We had really good practices and a lot of it had to do with him and his work ethic and how he just came to work every day. I’m really excited about obviously getting to see him close next year. I think he’s got a chance to be a really special college player and I think CMU is getting a great, great young man.”

While scoring over 1,000 points in his career this past season, Bronakowski was also selected all-conference, all-district and to the KMZU Dream Team three years running. He was also named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State Team in Class 4 for the 2020-21 season. 

Bronakowski said to play at the next level consistently night in and night out, he will need to work on his ball-handling and shooting.

“My short-term goals for CMU is to start varsity and be able to adapt to the speed of college basketball,” Bronakowski said. “My long term goals are to earn many accolades and win as a team.”

With at least 10 years of basketball under his belt at Ss. Peter & Paul and Boonville High School, Bronakowski said he is going to miss the atmosphere of the home games and big games the most in addition to the support from the community, his teammates and coaches.

Of course Bronakowski had many memories at BHS. He said while scoring his 1,000th point and making all-state were highlights for him personally, having a winning year every year was a team highlight. 

As for the biggest influence on him playing basketball, Bronakowski said it was probably his mom and dad. “They always pushed me and took me to every tournament and game and always were there to support me,” Bronakowski said. 

Of course along with CMU, Bronakowski said other college showing interest were St. Mary’s in Kansas, William Woods in Fulton and Lindenwood in St. Charles.

Bronakowski said he went back and forth between CMU and St. Mary’s. “CMU first contacted me and was the first to come to my game against Warrenton,” Bronakowski said. 

While Sherman said Bronakowski could play the stretch four or power forward position for the Eagles, he has to keep an open mind that there’s going to be good days and bad days. He said Bronakowski will be challenged every day he comes to practice. “Charlie’s got the mindset that’s already a little bit ahead of the game,” Sherman said. “We’re just really excited for Charlie. We’ve had a lot of good players that didn’t really finish a four year career, but with Charlie, I think this is going to be one of our best.”

Bronakowski said even though he has his future ahead of him at CMU, he still wishes the Pirates would have won a district title and make it to state during his time at Boonville.