Brandon Key helps unlock West Allis Central boys' basketball potential

Senior point guard named All-Suburban

West Allis Central’s Brandon Key (24) was at his best when driving and creating for the Bulldogs this season. Key is on the 2014-15 Now Newspapers All-Suburban boys basketball squad.

West Allis Central’s Brandon Key (24) was at his best when driving and creating for the Bulldogs this season. Key is on the 2014-15 Now Newspapers All-Suburban boys basketball squad. Photo By Peter Zuzga

April 6, 2015

Playing an all-around game and bringing enthusiasm and energy, Brandon Key helped fuel West Allis Central's surprise run to the WIAA Division 1 Boys Basketball State Tournament this season.

The senior guard averaged 16.3 points, 5.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 2.4 rebounds for the Bulldogs, who rebounded from a sluggish 10-12 regular season to beat a string of higher seeds in the WIAA playoffs and qualify for the school's first trip to the state tourney since 1947.

He also provided leadership, running the team's offense and defense and setting a positive tone for Central.

For these accomplishments, Key is a member of the 2014-15 Now Newspapers All-Suburban team, making the elite squad for the second straight season.

He was also named the player of the year in the Greater Metro Conference, a strong feat for someone representing a team that finished seventh in the league.

"Brandon was a four-year starter on varsity," coach Dave Mlachnik said. "He is the best point guard in the state. He could have scored more points if he wanted to, but what makes him special is that he makes everyone on the floor better because he is unselfish.

"Brandon has never taken a day off and is always working his hardest to make his team better. He is electrifying when he has the ball in his hands."

As opponents could testify, the Bulldogs were at their most dangerous when Key would use his lightning-quick speed to drive through the lane and either go up for a layup or pass off to the open man.

Mlachnik said he will miss the senior both on and off the court.

"Brandon is a special player, but even more than that, he is a special kid," the coach said. "He came in as a freshman with my son David, and I got to know Brandon more than just as a basketball player. What he has done for this program is unbelievable.

"He started as a freshman and helped us win our first conference championship since 1979. He was first-team all-conference as a sophomore and junior and was player of the year this season.

"He is a pure point guard; he sets other people up. His biggest strength as a basketball player is getting into the paint and making plays for other people. He can score whenever he wants, and he can do pretty much whatever he wants on the basketball floor; he's that good.

"What stands out for me is the kind of person he is and how he conducts himself on and off the floor. He was there every practice, busting his tail. He is always encouraging (teammates). Wherever life leads him, he is going to be successful."

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