August 21, 2014 Louisville, KY.
Goals, Success, and Basketball Overseas
Jeffrey Brooks Jr. was born in Louisville, KY on June 12, 1989 to Jeff Brooks Sr. and Phyllis Brooks. After being introduced to basketball at an early age, Jeff went on to become one of the top 100 recruits in the country, and a finalist for Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball honors. During his Senior year at Doss High School Jeff averaged 19 pts, 12 rebs, 2.5 blocks, and 4 assists, while leading the school to a record of 23-8. This was enough to earn all-state first team honors. In 2007, after high-school, the 6’8 forward decided to play his college ball with the Nittany Lions of Penn St University. During his senior campaign he averaged 13 pts and 6 rebs. His field goal shooting percentage of 54.7% helped him to receive honorable mentions for All Big Ten during the 2011 season. After graduating from Penn St. with a Communications, Arts, and Science Degree, Brooks is now playing basketball professionally overseas in Italy in the extremely competitive Euro league.
Analyzed Sports had the pleasure to do an interview with Jeff Brooks to get his thoughts on some of his goals, his definition of success, the challenges of playing basketball overseas, and much more.
Here is the interview below.
Analyzed Sports: Where are you now? (Location and team)
Brooks: I’m currently playing for Dinamo Sassari in the town called Sassari, Italy.
Analyzed Sports: What other interests do you have outside of basketball?
Brooks: Well, let’s see here, I am a guy of different interests. I am really into reading, playing video games and listening to music. I mostly enjoy works from Dan Brown and Paulo Cohelo. If I had to choose a favorite book of all time, it would be “The Winner Stands Alone” by Cohelo. I am a huge movie fan. I have been to the movies to see almost every movie that came out this summer. Movies are a bit of an escape for me. I love cartoons. Family Guy, The Boondocks, Futurama and The Simpsons just to name a few. I love shoes and hats. It’s actually a bit of an addiction.
Analzyed Sports : What are some of the goals you have recently set?
Brooks: My two main goals in my life are to have a loving and beautiful family and to continue to play high level professional basketball for as long as I can. I’m working on both currently, the first with my wonderful girlfriend Benedetta and the other with the next step of my career in Sassari.
Analyzed Sports: What or to whom do you attribute your success? Obviously you worked hard to be where you are but what else influenced who you are as an athlete?
Brooks: I can credit a lot of things to my success. First and foremost is God, without him, nothing is possible on this Earth. After that, I was blessed with one thing a lot of us black males do not have, a two parent household. I had both of my parents in my life and that has been a big difference. My mother Phyllis was always there with her ear and my father Jeffrey Sr. (Nick), was always there for my guidance as a young man. My dad put the ball in my hands as soon as they brought me home from the hospital as an infant and I have not wanted to let it go since. My family as a whole has also helped me to get where I am today.
My little brother Phillip has always been a motivator for me. He’s my number one fan, who’s always there to back me up and give me that spark.
My grandmother Betty was also there to guide me since I was young boy as well. When my parents were working, she was the one who took care of me and also taught what was right from wrong. I have had a lot of grooming as a person because of these people. Everyone in my family has had a part in this. I give credit to my aunts and uncles looking out for me and cheering me on as I continued to progress. Much love to my cousins for keeping me away from the streets and on the court. It has been a team effort as a family.
I give credit to my AAU coach Christopher Morris too, because he helped me to continue to build my confidence on the floor throughout my career. Something that he and my father preached all the time, is believing in myself and understanding that I am a good player. He helped me get exposure while I was in high school so that I was able to show my talents. He still does the same for many youth in Louisville, KY. His program is called the Quinn Chapel Anvils. I keep in touch and play with them when I get the chance.
Another person that has played a part is my big brother Mani. When I was 13, I met Mani in a program for youth that were dealing with bullying, emotional problems and stress. Mani was chosen for me and he really helped find myself and understand that I am a good person and that I have potential to do anything that I want to do. A wise man once told me, that it takes a village to raise a child in the right way. I think that is the way my life was. Everyone has taken a part to groom me into the person that I am today.
I give credit to my friends that I have in my life for their part. They were always telling me and pushing me to stick with basketball. They knew that I loved the game and they wanted to see me succeed. I thank them all the time for their presence in my life. I also think that the city of Louisville took a part too. Where I am from, there is not too many heroes to look up to. A lot of people become accustomed to the streets or just become comfortable with what they have. The city pushed me to become my own hero and to see other things in this world. This is a enormous world and I wanted to see more of it.
Lastly, I give myself a bit of credit. I have pushed through and been through many things that life will throw at you. I tried to use all of it as fuel to keep pushing and move through life. One thing that I have learned in 25 years is that life does not wait for any of us so, you better keep moving forward, or you will be left behind.
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