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Faith Baptist player named all-star at camp
Derrick Brooks Jr. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Just one week after being named one of the top 25 performers at the Adidas Top 150 Phenom Regional Camp, Derrick Brooks Jr. was again ranked among the best as a member of the Top 20 All-Star team for the Adidas top 150 National Camp, held June 26-27 in California.
Brooks, a 6-foot, 150-pound incoming freshman at Faith Baptist Christian Academy in Ludowici, said it was his biggest accomplishment to date as a point guard.
“To be in the position I am today compared to where I started took a lot of hard work, and I’m proud of my accomplishments,” the 15-year-old said.
Brooks said he is primarily focused on basketball and homework as he looks to improve his techniques and prove his abilities on the hardwood to fellow players, coaches and mentors. He said he was expecting a big challenge in California and was not disappointed.
“I had to show leadership and show what a true point guard is,” Brooks said.
Brooks’ father, Derrick Brooks Sr., said he is proud of his son’s accomplishment but still thinks it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“Although he made the top 20 at that camp, there are hundreds of kids that didn’t attend that camp that are pretty good,” Brooks Sr. said. “If we don’t go back and work in between camps then we won’t be improving.”
Brooks Sr., who is also the 14U South Georgia Kings coach, said younger players need to realize there is a wealth of talent across the nation. Most of the kids are only familiar with the talent they see locally.
“We do have a wealth of talent within this county,” he said. “But for some reasons our kids don’t look outside southeast Georgia or outside of this community. We are trying to get our kids to look at things at the national and even global level. Get them to think outside of the box.”
The elder Brooks said that is the reason the South Georgia Kings organization does as much as possible when it comes to getting the players to national tournaments. He said it brings together two goals — allowing the athletes to see the various level of skills and athleticism other athletes possess, and allowing scouts, coaches and potential recruiters to recognize the viable talent many of his players possess, including his own son.
“We were once in recreation ball and nobody believed in this kid,” Brooks Sr. said. “He had to work and I always encouraged him to work. Now he is proving what his value is worth. It’s not just me going out and saying, ‘Hey, this is my son.’ Now I’m just taking him out there and saying, ‘Here he is. You tell me what you think about him.’”
He said the past two accomplishments speak volumes when it comes to the potential of being nationally ranked.
Brooks, who played a few varsity games last season as a Crusader, said he is ready to establish himself as the varsity backup guard to standout Jaquez Motley and eventually earn the right to start once Motley graduates.
“Whenever he (Motley) needs a break, I’m just trying to show them that I can do the same thing he is doing when he is not on the floor,” Brooks said.
When it comes to scholarship opportunities, Brooks said he knows it’s still a little too early in the game to make a final decision but thinks he could stay
academically eligible for top-notch schools like the University of Georgia, University of Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, University of Texas and Connecticut.
 Brooks Sr. said he is continually grateful to God, his wife, Shantelle, and to SGK founders Jessie Fleming, Leonard Hall, Coach Tico Brown and Virgil Edgerton, Long County High School, Deshon Brock and the Sellars family who coach, teach at and run Faith Baptist Christian Academy.
“I can’t say enough about these people,” he  said. “If it wasn’t for them we would be practicing outside most of the time. These folks and others have generously supported our organization and have allowed us to help these kids. One of these days, if it’s the Lord’s will, we are going to contribute back to this community.”

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