Brookline's Hot Shot Champions - 1985
Kim Suwalski and Chris McClane

Kim Suwalski and Chris

Kim, Chris: Brookline 'hot shots'

Nervousness shouldn't have much effect this year on two youths from the Brookline Memorial Recreation Center who have made it to the Pepsi and city recreation "Hot Shot" finals.

"I'm very proud that Kim Suwalski and Chris McClane come from this area," said Chuck Senft, director of the Brookline Rec Center for 27 years. "I'm thrilled about it. This is the first time people from Brookline made it this far."

In all, 153 hoopsters were involved in the local Hot Shot program. The three age groups are 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18. The five city divisions: "Northern, Western, Eastern, Central and Southern, in which Brookline competed.

Both Kim and Chris won at the City competition in October, then won the Area shoot-out at the Cleveland Recreation Center in November and again at the Richfield Coloseum, Ohio, for the Central Division Championships held recently.

In Hot Shot competition, each contestant has three one-minute periods to shoot baskets from different court positions.

"I was nervous the first two times because of the music," said the 14-year old Suwalski, "but I'm excited. I think I'll do good."

Last year she lost in the area competition but raised her scores each time this year, from 90 to 100 to 122. Kim plays junior varsity basketball for Carrick High School and every day after practice she travels to Brookline for more practice time before going home.

Home is very supportive. Suwalski's mother, Judy, is very excitied about the national semifinals held last week. "She did so good.," Mrs. Suwalski said, "and when Cleveland fans booed when Pittsburgh was announced, Kim did even better."

The entire family is involved in basketball. An older sister and two brothers play. "My mom played basketball when she was little," said Kim, "and my dad likes to watch."

McClane, 12, is in the seventh grade at Our Lady of Loreto and is looking forward to the final-round action, to be held at halftime of an NBA game. McClane's victorious scores were: City - 106, Area - 100, Regionals - 118.

Kim Suwalski and Chris

"I got nervous last time and lost the area championships. I just go out there and do my best," he said.

McClane practices three times a week at the Brookline Rec Center for an hour after school.

"If it wasn't for Chuck, I don't know where Chris would practice," said Gene, McClane's father. "Chuck gives him special practice time on half the court," he said. "It's Chuck who makes the time."

The McClane family also is vigorously involved with basketball. "We're excited about the finals. Basketball is our sport," said Linda, Chris' mother.

An older sister, Melissa, 16, also is excited because she went last year; she lost in Cleveland. Melissa is a member of the varsity basketball team at Seton-LaSalle.

It's still up in the air where the Hot Shot finals will be held this year. The date is the second or third week in March, according to Mrs. McClane, and will be in Chicago, Cleveland, Arizona or Los Angeles.

Time will tell where the finals will be held. Time will also tell who will be able to handle the pressure, and the nervousness, the best.

* Article reprinted from The Journal - January 24, 1985 *

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