When we spoke with Aaron Brooks, his father was in San Diego doing his duties for United States Navy Reserves. You see, Aaron's entire family has been involved with basketball one way or another ever since Brooks was a pre-schooler. He remembers his mother organizing a team and a league for little kids. He also remembers his older brother (now a player at Seattle University) taking him on in pickup games as a very young kid, forcing him to get better and get tougher.
Aaron is a breath of fresh air when talking hoops. First, he looked up to Phoenix Suns point guard Kevin Johnson, NOT Michael Jordan like every other kid growing up. Second, when asked what his favorite way to score is, he loves to drive to the basket for a layup and possibly draw the foul. Third, asked what his strength on the court is and you won't hear "shooting threes" or "slam dunking" but rather: "Defense!"
Brooks prides himself on defense and, last summer playing for Seattle Rotary Select, matched up evenly against such big-time point guards as Duke-bound Sean Dockery.
Aaron is a modest and unassuming 6-footer who admits he needs to work on strength and adding some bulk, but don't assume he can't play offense. He is averaging in the high teens and can assist with the best of them.
He is elite.
Already the star for his Franklin High School team, the junior is receiving mail from Gonzaga, Washington, Florida State, Oregon and just about every school in-between. Aaron has already been to a few UW games, including Gonzaga's 20 point win there, and more recently to watch Arizona and Washington. He has been to Gonzaga in the summer for team camp, too.
Living just two blocks from Garfield High School, Aaron bucked the trend of going to the basketball powerhouse to follow his family's long tradition of attending Franklin. Later this month Franklin will play Garfield in a titanic battle in KeyArena as part of the MLK Holiday Hoopfest. "We'll have to play as a team," he says. Teamwork is important to Brooks.
Asked what he's looking for in a college when he chooses next September or October, Brooks says early playing time is not a factor, nor is distance from home. In fact, the first thing Aaron mentioned was choosing a major (he is thinking about Broadcasting) and a good college for that.
Like we said, he's a breath of fresh air with his priorities straight.
His goals are to win a state championship at Franklin and then choose the best college for him, with a winning basketball program.
Gonzaga will be losing Dan Dickau this year and Winston Brooks next year, so another point guard will be needed to complement Josh Reisman and Blake Stepp for Gonzaga's three-guard attack that has worked so well in achieving an Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteen runs in three years, not to mention a #13 ranking by AP at the time this was written.
Gonzaga is also persuing Ryan Appleby, another elite point guard, who could very well end up playing Aaron in the state playoffs if Franklin and Stanwood meet. Now that would be worth the price of admission to watch.
And most likely Gonzaga will be there watching.
When not playing hoops, Brooks likes to bowl or just hang with friends. He enjoys R&B music. Aaron credits his mom and dad as being the biggest influences in his life.