Brocke Stepteau isn’t any taller now than he was during his senior season at Jesuit when he led the Rangers to a district title while averaging 16 points per game.
(ABOVE: Redshirt senior Brocke Stepteau, a former Jesuit standout, is a team captain for Hawaii after earning a full scholarship during the offseason. Courtesy photos UH Athletics)
However, five years later, Stepteau is still playing big-time basketball at the University of Hawaii, the only Division I college program not to overlook the 5-foot-9 point guard in 2014.
As a fifth-year senior, Stepteau is averaging almost 10 points per game while preparing to graduate this spring with a political science degree. Both he and the Rainbow Warriors have benefited from his extended, and highly unusual, stay on the islands.
“There are players all over the country who are small and overlooked, and might not get the opportunities they think they deserve,” Stepteau said. “I’m happy I can set an example for them.”
Like many young basketball players, Stepteau grew up dreaming of playing Division I basketball, wherever that might take him. Despite putting up big numbers at Jesuit, his diminutive stature dissuaded many top coaches.
A couple of connections landed him an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Hawaii, which meant he wouldn’t be on an athletic scholarship. As an only child, it also required Stepteau to convince his parents that it was the right move.
“That was never part of the plan,” he said. “But as far as wanting to continue playing basketball, it was an opportunity that presented itself.”
His perseverance has paid off. After a redshirt season, Stepteau was part of a squad that advanced to the NCAA tournament and scored a first-round upset against California for the program’s first-ever March Madness victory.
He improved his strength and conditioning and gradually earned more minutes despite playing for three different head coaches. Last season, Stepteau started a handful of games and was rewarded after the season with a full athletic scholarship for his senior year. He’s also a team captain.
“I just continued to work my way up. It’s just been a gradual progression every year,” Stepteau said. “The people are really laid back. I really like it out here.”
Thus far, his senior season has included some stellar games against major opponents, including a career-high 24 points during a win over Utah.
This spring, Stepteau plans to move back to Dallas and sort out options for his future. He might have a chance to play professionally overseas. Maybe he’ll go to law school down the line. Or perhaps he will pursue his passion for hip-hop music after uploading a handful of tracks online, often in collaboration with teammates.
“Music has become a passion,” he said. “Right now, it’s just more of a hobby I do during my spare time, but I’d like to see where it takes me.”