School is out across South Carolina but that also means that AAU basketball is in full swing. One of the state's top rising 2013 prospects is Hillcrest point guard D.J. Brooks. After a solid sophomore season in which he averaged 14 points and 7 assists for the Rams schools are already keeping close tabs on the talented point guard. We caught up with Brooks for an update as he's the latest player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series.
Right now Brooks is suiting up for the SC Raptors Elite AAU team. The program is having a great deal of success on the AAU circuit and Brooks says it's been a work in progress.
"It's been great so far. Our team had to go through some rough times at first because so many of us had never played together before. We are on track and rolling now. The sky is the limit, because we have so much talent on the team."
Brooks has generated quite the buzz for himself in the Upstate running point for Hillcrest. He talked about some of the highlights of his sophomore season against one of their arch rivals.
"My best game was probably against J.L. Mann at J.L. Mann. We needed this game to tie for the region championship. I had a quiet 1st half, but came out and had a breakout 2nd half. During the 4th quarter, I got clipped and fell on my butt bone. I was hurt, but my team needed me and the crowd was cheering my name so I went back in the game. I scored 15 points in the 2nd half to clinch the win."
So what are Brooks' strengths and areas that he's wanting to improve on the most at this juncture of his career?
"My biggest strengths are my ball handling, shot selection, basketball IQ, and 3 point shooting. I want to improve all aspects of my game overall but especially my defense, court vision, speed, and agility."
Averaging 14 points and 7 assists per game we had to ask Brooks if he feels that he's more of a scoring point guard or a pass first point guard prospect?
"Right now I think I have a good blend of being both a scoring point guard and a pass first point. I can penetrate and find the open man. Also, I can score easy when we need a basket or near the end of a game."
The 2013 prospect has already set some lofty goals heading into his junior season next year.
"Next year I'd like to be named All-Region, get more exposure overall, win the region, be a consistent player, play every game like it was my last, make All-State, and most importantly win a state championship with my team."
The 6'1 170 pound prospect's play has already earned the attention of a number of colleges early in the process and he talked about those schools, which ones are recruiting him the hardest, and which he's already seen thus far.
"I've already visited South Carolina and Clemson. I like the atmosphere at South Carolina, it's like a family. With Clemson, I like the facilities."
So what have college coaches been saying to Brooks thus far?
"They like my ball handling skills and my basketball IQ. They want to see more of me to evaluate me more."
Being projected as one of the state's top prospects and hearing from so many colleges early on provides the point guard with added motivation.
"Every time I get a letter from a college or support from my friends. Also, when someone doesn't believe I can do it, it drives me to work and get better."
Brooks already knows what he'll be taking into heavy consideration when looking at prospective schools too.
"The coaching staff, because I want to be comfortable and to be myself around the coaching staff and the college. Also the atmosphere, because I want to make a difference in the program right away."
Although he's yet to secure his first scholarship offer Brooks talked about his thoughts once the day comes.
"That school will of course hold a special place in my heart, because they showed interest and that they really cared."
There are some schools out there that Brooks said he wants to hear more from soon like Wake Forest, Marquette, Memphis, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgetown, and Virginia. For now he's letting his play do most of the talking and new schools are making inquiries as the Raptors continue to have success.
Brooks reports a 3.3 GPA currently and has yet to take the ACT or SAT but plans on doing so soon.
Stay tuned to SCPrepNation.com for more updates concerning D.J. Brooks and other top basketball prospects here in South Carolina. We will have video highlights of Brooks in action soon.
A CLOSER LOOK...D.J. BROOKS
Favorite food: Hot Wings
Favorite subject in school: Math
Favorite movie: The Wood
Favorite music artists: Rich Kids
Favorite thing to do when not playing basketball: Playing Drums
Dream school: Michigan State or Memphis
Dream date would be with........: Skylar Diggins
Favorite basketball player: Kalin Lucas
There's 10 seconds left in the game and you have the ball at halfcourt with your team down by 1 point....finish this sentence.
"I give my defender a stutter step, hesitation dribble to the free throw line and pull up make the jumper. Game over, we win." D.J. BROOKS
2013 point guard D.J. Brooks