Kentucky men’s basketball sophomore forward Keion Brooks Jr. is one of 11 Division I men’s basketball student-athletes who have been selected to serve on the newly-formed National Association of Basketball Coaches Player Development Coalition. The group is a diverse collection of players who are tasked with providing valuable perspective and feedback on college basketball-related issues.
In addition to creating a vehicle for student-athletes to address current issues, the Player Development Coalition will also provide members with numerous professional and personal development experiences. The coalition will meet quarterly and have regular opportunities to address the NABC Board of Directors and NCAA committees.
“The importance of the coalition is to make sure the players’ voices are heard because the players are what make the NCAA go,” Brooks said. “I also believe it’s important to educate players beyond basketball, with social justice issues and how to carry yourself as a professional.”
Members of the initial Player Development Coalition are North Carolina’s Armando Bacot, Colorado’s Evan Battey, Brooks, Harvard’s Kale Catchings, Villanova’s Collin Gillespie, Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert, Michigan State’s Joshua Langford, Duke’s Wendell Moore Jr., TCU’s RJ Nembhard, Syracuse’s Bourama Sidibe and High Point’s John-Michael Wright.
“Our priority as coaches is to support student-athlete development both on and off the court,” NABC Executive Director Craig Robinson said. “As the NABC continues its advocacy and policy work on issues impacting our game, it’s vital that input from student-athletes be central to those efforts. Whether it’s NIL, transfer parameters, social justice, COVID-19 or a host of other important topics currently impacting college basketball, we will make sure student-athletes’ voices are heard. We will also structure the Player Development Coalition to be an impactful experience that benefits these young men well beyond their college years.
Brooks, UK’s leading returner in 2020-21, appeared in all 31 games for the 2020 Southeastern Conference champions and made six starts. He averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game in his freshman season. The 6-foot-7 forward shot 47.2% from the floor.
Brooks scored in double figures five times in 2019-20, including a promising end to the season. The Indiana native played an important part in the 18-point comeback at Florida with 10 points and two 3-pointers.
Other key performances from Brooks included a 10-point, seven-rebound game in the comeback at Arkansas in which he hit key free throws late in the game.
Brooks scored a career-high 15 points vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and nearly notched a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds vs. Eastern Kentucky.
Coming out of high school, Brooks was ranked the No. 24 overall player by the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. He played for the highly regarded La Lumiere School and played in the Geico High School national championship game. He earned USA Today All-USA Boys Basketball honorable mention.
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