November 30, 2009

Brooks Making his Mark on his Way
to D-1

Kevin McCarthy

It was Thomas Edison who once said about patience: "Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." We’re pretty sure the paths of Edison and God’s Academy back courter Dominique Brooks never crossed so the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph and motion picture camera didn’t have Brooks in mind when he uttered his famous phrase -- but he could have.

photo of Dominique Brooks Brooks already has multiple offers

Brooks is spending a post prep year at Tim Miller’s God’s Academy in Dallas, Texas after completing his senior season at Mount Rainier High in Washington which also coincided with him playing for the Seattle Rotary Select club team (SRS). After high school, Brooks earned a basketball scholarship from Tennessee State and was set begin in Nashville until NCAA Clearinghouse issues put his participation in limbo and the Tech coaching staff decided he should red shirt.

That was something difficult to consign himself to so Brooks used a connection -- Miller and God’s Academy had played against SRS during the summer -- so the coach was familiar with the back courter, and a post high school season in the Lone Star State became the plan.

How is that working out? Well, if recruiting interest is any indication then the plan can be deemed a success. Brooks just returned from a recruiting visit to Jacksonville of the Atlantic Sun Conference and something with Houston (Conference USA) seems to be brewing along with strong interest from Marshall. Plus, other schools are displaying interest in his ability to man the point but also score. It’s currently 12 offers and counting.

Why? Let’s have Brooks, who is looking to sign a national letter-of-intent come the second signing period in April, explain:

"My ability to shoot the ball and my understanding of the game."

Brooks sees one of his most important talents is his ability to make his teammates more effective on the court.

He is looking to land at "a college town that’s lively, with everyone coming to the games."

As for a style of play, Brooks prefers "an upbeat but controlled tempo."

It was not necessarily destiny but he knew early on that the guard spot was the place for him on the court.

"I’ve known since I was a little kid that I wasn’t going to be 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-10 and playing at point guard was a comfortable thing for me."

Being in a leadership role is nothing new for this former high school class president.

He is looking to major in business in college and currently his academics are fine.

For Brooks, this is also a matter of continuing the family lineage. His mother played in the front court at Roosevelt High in Seattle while his father won back-to-back state championships as a back courter for Garfield High. Houston Rocket guard Aaron Brooks, the former Oregon star, is one of his cousins.

Family is important to Brooks who offered, "my father and my mother and my older brother" as his biggest basketball influences. He still recalls getting up on Saturday morning and his mom already being up and making him breakfast before he headed out for basketball.

Brooks is one of six children and, for you recruiters out there, younger brother Glenn, is quite the 2011 prospect at Garfield High.

Joel Booth, a basketball trainer in Seattle, has been working with Brooks for almost a year now. How does he see his client?

"What sets Dominique apart as a player is that he is a true point guard who can run a team. He stands out in a game setting by his making the right play at the right time. We worked together on making his shot quicker and more consistent."

We asked him this question:

"If we got together with three or four of your friends, basketball players or not, how would they describe you?"

Coincidentally, one of his roommates at God’s Academy entered the room as the same time as our query.

Brooks offered, “enthusiastic and energetic” and then posed the question to his teammates who quickly responded with, “motivated” and "hard-working."

By the way, one of those is Christian Kabongo who is headed to East Carolina University. According to Brooks, Kabongo has "helped me out through the whole recruitment process."

Brooks is ready to make his mark after having played Rodney Stuckey (of the Detroit Pistons), plus other Seattle talents such as Josh Smith (headed to UCLA), Peyton Silva (now at Louisville) and Tony Wroten Jr. (currently a high school junior). He understands the challenge ahead of going up against top level college hoops every game. He see the progress he has made since his frosh season.

"I’m much more calm and steady after being emotionally up-and down and erratic as a freshman."

Spoken like a leader. Best wishes to Brooks this year as he finds his way to the Division 1 ranks.