By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
K.J. Brady knows how to make a first impression.
With University of Washington baseball assistant coach Dave Nakama in the stands during a summer tournament in San Diego, the Cascade junior-to-be hit a home run in his first at-bat.
He then duplicated the feat in the next game.
Nakama came away impressed and Brady accepted UW’s offer on Friday, verbally committing to be a Husky after he graduates in 2014.
“UW was my No. 1 choice,” Brady said. “Growing up the Huskies were my hometown team so it’s pretty special to be able to go there. It feels like the right fit.”
After talking to the Bruins pitcher/outfielder at a concession stand following his two-homer games, Nakama invited Brady and his dad to visit the UW campus on Aug. 14. On that visit Brady had a chance to roam around the campus and meet Husky head coach Lindsay Meggs, who offered Brady a scholarship spot. Brady took some time to think about it and discuss it with his dad but said ultimately it was too good of an offer to pass up.
“I was surprised that they offered me 55 percent,” Brady said of the scholarship offer (baseball programs have a limited amount of scholarships to offer and do most of it on a percentage basis). “I’ve heard most position guys only get around 30, so to get 55 with a chance to maybe get 60 is unbelievable.”
Cascade baseball head coach Scott Stencil isn’t surprised that Brady was offered a scholarship.
“K.J. is one of those rare athletes who can do just about anything you need him to do on a baseball field,” Stencil wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “whether it be pitching a complete game, stealing a base, or making a great play in center field. His athleticism and versatility are his biggest strengths.”
Brady, who holds down a 3.85 grade point average, still has plenty of work to do in high school, including on the football field this fall. But the first-team All-Wesco pitcher and outfielder promises to do a lot of damage on the diamond over the next couple of springs.
Of course that makes one man rather happy.
“I am excited to have him at Cascade for two more years,” Stencil said.