Through the eyes of a proud parent

When Brian Cox’s name wasn’t announced Wednesday night at the Kitsap County Sports Banquet at the Kitsap County Golf and Country Club, his father, Don, still gave his son a hug congratulating him on being a nominee for the prep male scholar-athlete of the year.

While another award would have been fun for the 2003 South Kitsap High School graduate, the banquet was a symbolic end of Brian’s prep career.

And it was a year Don said he will never forget for the rest of his life.

While the wins in basketball and baseball were memorable, Don said it wasn’t Brian’s game-winning buckets in basketball or the pitching victory against Federal Way in the state championship game that sticks in his mind.

It was the events that unfolded in the fourth quarter against Mount Vernon at the 4A state tournament in the Tacoma Dome.

“We were down 15 points in the fourth quarter, so I got up because it was over,” Don said. “I was going down to the floor to take some pictures of Brian because it was his last basketball game. As I started down Adam (Bennett) or Jake (Beitinger) inbounded the ball to Brian but he didn’t take the ball. He let the ball roll, and roll, and roll until he had to pick it up because he didn’t want to let a second tick off the clock.

“I said to myself, ‘He’s not giving up.’ I went back and sat down to watch that team come back and win that game.”

Brian’s no-quit attitude propelled SK to a 65-61, double-overtime victory. He scored 10 of his 19 points from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and two overtime periods.

Don said he is amazed at the season his son had, but places much of his son’s success on his two coaches, John Callaghan (basketball) and Elton Goodwin (baseball).

“The relationship he had with John and Elton, I will be eternally grateful for the part they had in making him who he is today,” Don said. “I honestly believe you are blessed with (abilities), but I also think you’re inspired to capitalize on that blessing. That’s where people like John and Elton come in.”

Now Brian will take his athletic prowess to Division I University of Portland on a baseball scholarship.

“He’s going to go play with the big dogs and find out,” Don said. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll go down and compete.”

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