Masters standout basketball player Brooke Tatarian ’21 put in countless hours of hard work in the classroom and the gym, resulting in a lifelong dream coming to fruition.
The two-time all-state performer recently committed to play Division 1 basketball at Fairfield University, becoming the first Masters girls basketball player to go D1 since Jackie McCaffrey ’04 (New Jersey Institute of Technology).
"It is incredible that I was able to receive a full ride to play D1 basketball," Tatarian said. "It means that all the hard work, hours in the gym, and all the grind was worth it. I sacrificed a lot for this sport and even during this awful time in the world, I’m glad that something positive happened. I always wanted this moment to come, but now it feels surreal.”
Tatarian reflected on the countless summer tournaments she’s played in since the sixth grade, traveling to Kentucky and Washington D.C. to compete against the best players in the country. It was all driven by the dream of one day advancing to the next level.
“I’ve been dreaming of playing college basketball since sixth grade,” she said.
At Masters, Tatarian has been integral in helping the girls basketball program reach new heights. She led the Panthers to three straight New York State Association of Independent Schools title games, winning it all in 2019. Tatarian cracked 1,000 career points at Masters this past season and averaged 20 points per game in 2019-20.
She credited Panthers coach Nick Volchok with elevating her game through constant competition, intense workouts and constructive criticism.
“I had to step up this past season and play out of position a lot,” said Tatarian, who made an impact in the front-court after excelling in the back-court the previous two years. “I was surrounded by such a supportive community and I absolutely love being part of it.
Beyond basketball, Tatarian has also grown as a student, learning and thriving amongst her peers.
“Masters has been an incredible place to be these past three years,” she said. “In the classroom, I have been challenged and motivated by my peers and teachers to keep working hard through any type of adversity. Being in such an accepting atmosphere has made me feel comfortable voicing my opinions confidently.”
In Fairfield, Tatarian detected a similar feeling of community and camaraderie.
“Something that was really important to me was feeling like I had found a home for my next four years,” she said. “When I visited Fairfield, I loved watching the women’s basketball team play and I admired the way the coaches interacted with the players and vice versa. Their team is a close-knit family and I noticed that right away. Also, I will only be an hour away from home, so my family will be able to come watch and support me throughout my career. This program fits me as a player because each person on the team plays for each other, and it’s not about one person taking over. It was so fun watching them move the ball and be excited for each other. Getting a strong education was something also really important to me and this school will give me so many opportunities in the future.”