Daniel Boone High School graduate Tyler Brooks has high expectations heading into his senior season on the Kutztown University men’s basketball team. The Golden Bears have 10 freshmen and three transfer students on the team this year, so Head Coach Bernie Driscoll is counting on Brooks to lead the team, both by example and vocally.
After a rough freshman season, Brooks has been a driving force to the K.U. offense, averaging seven points a game as a sophomore and 12 points a game last year. For the Bears to do well this year, Brooks, who was named team captain, will have to up his own game, as well help his younger teammates get better.
Coach Driscoll has no doubt that Brooks is up to the task. Brooks has been the guy his teammates look up to both on an off the court.
“Tyler is an outstanding young man who has done a wonderful job, both in the classroom and on the court,” said Driscoll. “We have enjoyed coach Tyler and observing his great work ethic. Injuries caused him to lose about 25 percent of last season, so this year we expect a breakout season from him.”
“I’m very happy with the opportunity my coaches have given me to play for Kutztown,” said Brooks. “I’ve had a good career here, but I haven’t reached all the goals that I have dedicated my career to. I feel as though I still have more work to do if I want to continue my career at the next level, overseas.”
Brooks was born into a basketball family. His father, James played the game for East Stroudsburg, and his younger brother plays on the Spring Grove High School team. His father wore the number 24 on his uniform, so Tyler and his brother have continued the tradition by wearing number 24 today.
He was a star player for Daniel Boone, scoring 279 points as a junior, and 517 points as a senior. But going from high school to Division 2 college basketball was not an easy transition for him.
“It was one of the toughest times of my life,” said Brooks. “I went from being one of the best players in my area to a role player in one of the toughest conferences in Division 2. But then I went home for the summer and completely changed my work ethic. I felt as though I adjusted to the speed and physicality of the PSAC. Coach Driscoll and Coach (Tom) York also helped me with a few bad habits I had through film and individual workouts.”
Whatever he did, it worked. His sophomore year he started in all 27 games for the Golden Bears and scored 190 points and averaged 5.8 rebounds a game. He also led the team with 46 blocked shots, which was second in the league.
“That was the turning point in my college career,” said Brooks. “But what I remember most about that season is when we sealed the PSAC East at Shippensburg.”
He left that game to the PSAC Indoor Track and Field Championships where he finished third in the triple jump. He competes in the jumping events for the Kutztown track and field team in the spring, as well as the indoor team in the winter.
Early last month, Brooks was one of three K.U. student athletes to represent the school at the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, a prestigious honor for him.
The Leadership Forum is one of the largest non-competitive gatherings of NCAA student-athletes representing their colleges and universities. The forum was designed for student-athletes to discuss key issues collectively and provide them with an opportunity to enhance personal awareness and leadership skills needed to positively impact their development at the campus and conference levels, as well as beyond the collegiate realm.
He came back from the forum to start his senior season on the K.U. basketball team. He’s off to a great start, averaging 13.3 points a game through the team’s first four games.
“My number one goal is to bring home the PSAC East title and eventually win the PSAC for the first time in school history,” said Brooks. “All the great players before me in school history always joke with me about their two PSAC East championships. I’d like to help Coach Driscoll win our first conference tittle.”
Tyler is a business management major and hopes to be a manager at a shipping company.