Bardstown basketball player's inspiring story

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Bardstown High School basketball team is bidding for its second straight 5th Region title, and it has truly become a family affair for the coach and two of its star players.

Blood is thicker than water -- but what happens when the two are combined? What happens when a friend becomes family?

Anthony Myrks -- known respectfully as "Smurf" -- is the point guard for the Bardstown Tigers. He's the type of person you walk away from with a smile on your face. You can tell he gets it; and everything he gets is a lot more than what he used to have.

As a young child, Anthony faced challenges that most kids never have to think about.

Anthony says his mother and her boyfriend "fought a lot. I can remember waking up at night and they would be just arguing about all kinds of stuff. She would be rushing over and telling me to go across the street and call the police. They would get into fist fights. It was crazy."

The problems continued until his mother eventually asked his then-AAU basketball coach, former Louisville Cardinal James "Boo" Brewer, if he and his family could take her son.

"At the time, I didn't know what to do or how to go about it," James said. "My wife Debbie -- we talked about it at night, and the next day we called her."

The Brewers agreed to become Smurf's legal guardians.

"And he brought a box, probably like a 4x4 box, of what he had," Debbie said. "And a ziplock bag with a birth certificate."

Just like that, Smurf Myrks became a member of the Brewer family. A bond was instantly formed between Smurf and the Brewers' oldest son, Jordan.

"They don't look anything alike, but they act like twins," Debbie said. "I mean they're completely opposites, yet they're inseparable.

"He just fit right in, like he had always been there," Jordan said. "We're always together. We do everything together."

It's a relationship that's blossomed into a huge blessing as brothers, friends and now teammates. Smurf and Jordan are two of the best players on Bardstown High School's basketball team that's expected to make another run at the state tournament under the leadership of head coach -- and dad -- James Brewer.

"I not only want to win the championship, but I'd like to share it with my two boys, Jordan and Anthony," James said.

James himself once played for Bardstown, but his team never made it to the state tournament. "To go with my boys is more special than anything," James said.

The team is truly a family, and the family couldn't imagine life without their newest son.

"He is our family," James said. "He is one of us."

Debbie says Smurf has been a blessing to the family. "He's given us as much as we have given to him."

And Smurf never doubts that he is truly part of the family.

"They don't say, 'this is our adopted son,'" Anthony said. "They say: 'This is our son.' So they treat me like any other person in the family. It's really nice. They're very good people."

Both Jordan and Anthony hope to keep playing sports in college -- hoops for Smurf and football for Jordan.

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