In the illustrious history of Andover High basketball, only nine boys had ever topped 1,000 career points heading into last week.
On Friday, Kyle Rocker became the 10th Golden Warrior to reach that historic mark.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard tossed in a driving layup late in a win over rival Methuen, giving him 1,001 career points with half of his final high school season still remaining.
“The emotions were crazy,” said Rocker, who finished the night with 1,003 points. “It was always a dream of mine to get a thousand points.”
Rocker became the first Golden Warrior boy to reach the milestone since E.J. Perry IV (1,153 career points) topped the mark in 2017. Dave Giribaldi (1,072 career points) joined the group in 2015.
Andover High Hall of Famer Chris Vetrano (class of 2004) owns the Golden Warrior boys record with 2,090 career points.
The overall school record belongs to three-time Division 1 state champion Nicole Boudreau (class of 2012). The future Boston College star tallied 2,200 career points in four varsity seasons.
Eight other Golden Warrior girls have reached the mark, most recently Gia Bramanti (1,029 career points) last winter and current Merrimack College star Alyssa Casey (1,197 points) in 2017.
“That was the first thing I put on my list when I came to high school, to get to a thousand points,” said Rocker. “To actually get it is surreal.”
It has been quite a winter and career for Rocker, who was promoted to the varsity team midway through his freshman season.
“I will just say this: he came into Andover High School as a little boy,” coach David Fazio said. “He’s going to leave Andover High School as a grown, intelligent player/person. I have so much admiration for him.”
Rocker has been red hot the winter, entering the week averaging a career-high 18.5 points per game with 26 3-pointers, both team-highs for the 8-5 Golden Warriors.
He has scored at least 10 points in all but two games this season and topped 15 points 12 times. He’s scored more than 20 points five times. Hit biggest games have been a career-best 36-point explosion in a win over Chelmsford, 28 points against Division 1 North frontrunner Lawrence and 25 points against MVC Division 2 favorite Haverhill.
But scoring is nothing new for Rocker.
He averaged 17.6 points a game and hit 56 3-pointers, both team-highs, on his way to All-MVC honors last year as a junior. As a sophomore he averaged 14.7 points a game and hit 37 3-pointers. As a freshman he played in 10 games, including a 13-point night against Acton-Boxboro.
“I think shooting the ball is my greatest strength,” said Rocker last year. “Pull-ups, floaters, 3-pointers. I’ll also take it inside some, and I know how to find my teammates.”
Scoring, like basketball, is in his blood.
Rocker’s dad, Kazi Rocker, averaged 13.5 points as a senior for the Hillies in 1995. His twin, Kwam Rocker, averaged 14.5 points a game.
“CONGRATULATIONS my son,” Kazi posted on Kyle’s Twitter page. “‘WE’ Did It... I’m #ProudOfYou on becoming the newest member of the 1,000 Point Club at Andover High School. ... Great Accomplishment.”
Fazio is also thankful for Rocker’s work as a captain and leader.
“He’s National Honor Society,” said Fazio. “He’s a hard worker. He listens, and he handles my wrath. He’s very serious about his academics and he’s very serious about his athletics. But, in the locker room with his teammates, he’s been known to cut a rug. I’m really proud of him.”
Contact David Willis at @DWillisET or DWillis@eagletribune.com.