Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Keion Brooks sets officials to Kentucky, North Carolina; updates recruitment
By ADAM ZAGORIAKeion Brooks, the 6-foot-8 wing out of La Lumiere (IN) and the Indy Heat, has set two more official visits to Kentucky (Oct. 20) and North Carolina (Nov. 2) and provided an update on his recent visits to Indiana and UCLA.
Brooks sat down with Krysten Peek of Rivals.com for an interview at the USA Basketball mini-camp in Colorado Springs, Col.
He is down to a final six of UCLA, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Michigan State and Purdue.
Brooks, who averaged 21.5 points and 7.0 rebounds this summer on the Nike EYBL circuit, visited UCLA in late August with teammate Trayce Jackson-Davis.
“That trip was great,” Brooks said. “First of all, you can’t beat L.A. in this weather. And then secondly, the thing I really got out of it was coach [Steve] Alford. I really realize he’s a players’ coach. He tries to caters things to where his players are most comfortable.”
Brooks roomed at UCLA with point guard Tyger Campbell, a fellow La Lumiere alum.
“Tyger’s talking about how he loves coach Alford and his teammates,” he said. “What I got from the team is they’re all very close. He just likes the atmosphere out there in L.A. It’s the biggest stage. If you really go out there and perform, you can really make something of yourself.”
Brooks took an official to home-state Indiana the weekend of Sept. 28. Asked about possibly joining Jackson-Davis in a package deal, he said:
“It’s a possibility, we don’t really talk about it in-depth. We just kind of leave each other alone when it comes to that. We just take it day-by-day, and if that’s what God has in the cards for us, then it’s something we would love to do.”
As for the atmosphere at Indiana, he said, “The atmosphere was crazy. It was kind of humbling….That was something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.”
Indiana assistant Ed Schilling coached Brooks’ father at Wright State, so he talked about their “prior relationship.”
“When he came to Indiana, he’s been going really hard and really strong,” he said. “And also coach [Archie] Miller, he’s been recruiting me, recruiting my family, my older brother, my two younger brothers as well… They’re taking the time to do that, I think that’s a really good thing about Indiana.”
As for Kentucky, coach John Calipari met with Brooks in September.
“I love coach Cal,” he said. “He’s a great businessman, and he really cares about his players as well. He feels if I go there, he would take very good care of me. He’s going to help me reach my dreams and my goals. His pitch is really just come somewhere where we can push you every day to be excellent on and off the court, and help me reach my goal of being an NBA player.”
In terms of Michigan State, Brooks said he’s talked with teammate Isaiah Stewart, Jackson-Davis and commit Rocket Watts about the Spartans.
“All three of those guys, I like them a lot,” Brooks said. “I would love to play with them all. I just have to see how that unfolds.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
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.