NEW YORK — A 15-year-old MarShon Brooks fan named Ethan Schorr appeared at Baruch College Tuesday night to root on his hero.
He had taken a piece of paper, written “Brooks” on it in black marker and covered up the “Yi” on the back of his No. 9 Nets jersey.
Yi Jianlian is with the Washington Wizards and is no longer wearing No. 9 for the Nets. Brooks is.
Schorr then proceeded to watch as the 6-foot-5 Brooks poured in 48 points on 17-of-32 shooting (6 of 12 from deep) in Dyckman’s 125-123 loss to Big Apple Basketball in the Nike Pro City league.
“I guess [the Nets] drafted me for my scoring and that’s what I do best,” Brooks, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics at No. 25 and dealt to the Nets on draft night, said before the game. “So I’m just going to try to help provide energy as a rookie and try to win more games than they did last year.”
Brooks’ 48-point outburst was nearly twice the scoring output of opponents Jamario Moon of the Los Angeles Clippers (25 points), who covered Brooks for most of the game, and John Lucas III of the Chicago Bulls (28), although Brooks missed a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining in overtime that would have given him 51 points on the night.
“He looked awesome,” said Big Apple Basketball coach Jason Curry. “I have a whole new level of respect for him after seeing him in person, especially versus an NBA player.”
“Honestly, I never played a game in New York that was organized, so it was my first time playing in the park or any summer leagues in New York,” said Brooks, who led the Big East in scoring last season by averaging 26.6 points for Providence.
After the game, about 100 fans mobbed Brooks at halfcourt in search of autographs.
But Seth Cohen, Brooks’ agent, found Schorr with the make-shift Brooks jersey and brought him into the center of the scrum so MarShon could autograph all his stuff.
“That kid is a MarShon Brooks fan for life,” Cohen said.
Because of the NBA lockout, when Schorr actually gets a chance to see Brooks play for the Nets remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the former Providence star is going back and forth between workouts with Larry Marshall in New Jersey and Tim Grover in Chicago.
“Honestly, I’ve just been doing a lot of shooting and playing video games,” Brooks said. “I mean, it was a rough month for us. We got drafted so I just took a little break and I’ll probably get started training by Wednesday next week.”
Brooks never worked out for the Nets and has had limited contact with the team, other than his introductory press conference.
He attended a two-day workout with some members of the team in Santa Barbara, Calif., and had dinner there with head coach Avery Johnson.
“They had us do a couple things, see how we move laterally, vertical, backwards, forwards, just trying to see how our body works,” he said. “Just see how we move and how quick and we’re going to see the improvement we can make over the summer.”
Now, he’s hoping the lockout comes to a swift conclusion, although it may end up knocking out the whole year.
“It’s a lifelong dream to play in the NBA,” he said, “so I’m ready to get started. But I mean, they got some things to work out. They understand more than I do, so I’ll just let them handle it. And whenever it’s time to play I’ll be ready.”
(photo courtesy Daily News)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.