If you walked past Jason Brickman in street clothes, you would likely never guess that he is one of the nation’s top point guards.
The Long Island University senior stands shorter than his 6-foot listing, and you might think he’s on his way to an Economics class instead of the hardwood. But Brickman recently set the Northeast Conference record for career assists, with 805 — breaking a 25-year-old mark — and he hopes to reach 1,000 by the end of his career.
Brickman surpassed Drafton Davis of Marist College, who set his record in 1988, in a win over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Dec. 12. Last season, he set the Long Island University record for assists and is a candidate this season for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the top point guard in the nation. Long Island University coach Jack Perri called Brickman a once-in-a-lifetime find.
“He’s a superstar,” Perri said. “There’s no better point guard in the country as far as I’m concerned.”
Brickman, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is light on his feet, always at the ready, and the ball seems glued to his hand before he releases it. His eyes look forward with a downward gaze as if he searching for any opening he can find. He usually does and exploits it instinctively.
“I don’t know how I learned to pass,” Brickman said rather modestly. “I try to make the team better and try to find seams.”
Brickman was aware of how close he was to the record going into the NJIT game, needing just three. He wanted to break it quickly and get back to worrying about helping LIU win.
“He’s my Peyton Manning,” Perri said in reference to the Denver Broncos’ star quarterback. “He never gets rattled. He keeps his composure, whether the team is down or ahead.”
The Blackbirds are 4–6 in the early season and their non-conference schedule ends in a few weeks. Much of their growth and success is because of the level Brickman is playing at. He is averaging 11 points and 10 assists per game.
“He makes unbelievable decisions,” Perri said.
The Blackbirds beat Lamar on Dec. 18 with only eight scholarship players in the lineup. Brickman scored 17 points and dished out 12 assists. But his future at the next level is still uncertain because of his height.
“People ask me, ‘could he be an NBA player?’ ” Perri said. “He is on the small side. It will take a general manager in the NBA to think outside the box.”
Until then, Brickman will keep breaking records and changing perceptions.