Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. GAC's Malcolm Brogdon drives to the net during Saturday's Class AA state finals.
MACON -- Eddie Martin likens it to a puzzle. "You try to find the piece that fits," the Greater Atlanta Christian coach said.
Needless to say, Malcolm Brogdon fit perfectly. With him, the Spartans' state championship quest became complete.
The junior transfer from Fayette County scored 26 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out three assists Saturday as GAC defeated Thomasville 77-65 to win the Class AA title at the Macon Centreplex.
"This is as good a feeling as you can get," Brogdon said as he celebrated the championship with his new friends and teammates. "This was our goal and we did it."
GAC made it to the Class AA Final Four a year ago, but lost to eventual champion Dublin in the semifinals. Four starters returned from that team, but the Spartans were a piece short. Enter Brogdon.
The 6-foot-4 guard played at Woodard through the ninth grade before transferring to Fayette County as a sophomore. The family wanted to move back to the northside of metro Atlanta to be closer to Brogdon's grandparents, though, and that's how he got to GAC.
Give junior point guard Paul Dawson an assist in Brogdon becoming a Spartan. The two are friends and AAU teammates.
"Paul is a big reason that I'm at GAC," Brogdon. "But getting to play for Coach Martin is obviously a great opportunity."
Brogdon immediately took over from senior center Trent Wiedeman as the Spartans' go-to scorer, average 20 points per game and being named Region 6-AA player of the year. There never seemed to be a jealousy issue, though.
"If he would have come in and been a ballhog, there could have been a problem," Martin said. "But he isn't that way. He's very unselfish. Like all good players, he made the others around him better."
Wiedeman, who is headed to the College of Charleston, dominated inside and the Spartans (32-1) went undefeated against in-state teams. Their only loss was to nationally ranked Memphis Melrose in the Arby's Classic at Bristol, Tenn., after Christmas.
"I think of any team in the state, we're the closest on and off the court," Brogdon said. "We share everything. We're a true team. No one takes too much credit. No one is jealous. Everybody shares."
Of course, there is a lot of glory to spread around with the Spartans.
College of Charleston coach Bobby Cremins took in the championship game and he wasn't only keeping an eye on signee Wideman, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the victory over Thomasville.
"College of Charleston is one of the schools looking at me," Brogdon said.
It is a growing list. Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Clemson are among the others that have shown interest.
"Malcolm's a player," Martin said. "When you are that good, schools find you."
Brogdon would be a good fit for a lot of colleges. But he has another year at GAC to go and maybe another title to win."
As a sophomore, Brogdon averaged 15.8 points and 10.7 rebounds for Fayette County. The Tigers lost in the Class AAAA quarterfinals to eventual state champion Miller Grove. Now Brogdon has a title of his own.
"Everything couldn't have worked out better," Brogdon said. "GAC was the perfect fit for me."