Like the hard-nosed drives, soaring jumpshots and tenacious defense that characterized his championship high school career, Ryan Brooks officially entered the college ranks with purpose, passion and grace. And, not surprisingly, as a winner all the way around.
At a Thursday afternoon press conference at Lower Merion High School, Brooks announced that he will continue his academic and athletic career as a member of the Temple Owls. With Head Coach Gregg Downer and mom Dr. Darlene Brooks (a Temple professor) sitting beside him, Brooks expressed his excitement "to be part of a program with such a great basketball tradition, and to be a part of something as special the Big 5."
Perhaps the biggest draw for Brooks: new Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy.
"I'm really looking forward to playing for Coach Dunphy. It's going to be a great experience playing for a man of his caliber, someone who commands respect and someone who will get the program to the level that it should be." Brooks also cited Dunphy's staff, including assistant coach Matt Langel, who played an important role in facilitating his decision.
Aces Head Coach Gregg Downer called it a "great fit for Ryan, for Temple and [Dunphy]. Ryan is an exceptional young man with a tremendous work ethic and an absolute passion for winning. Anything else is unacceptable to him."
Downer continued, "He plays as hard as anyone I've ever coached and what's really exciting is that he just keeps getting better every time he steps out on the court. It will be exciting to watch him develop under Coach Dunphy in the next four years."
Brooks expressed his desire to get on the court with his new teammates, many of whom he has met during the past two weeks. "They seem like great guys, and they were real cool with welcoming me." He had a conversation with another incoming freshman guard, Luis Guzman, and believes the two will develop a good relationship on and off the court.
"I'm just looking forward to this opportunity. My Lower Merion experience has been unbelieveable and now I feel very fortunate to be at Temple. Whatever Coach Dunphy asks of me is what I'm going to do to help us win."
Below is a transcript of Brooks' announcement:
"First of all, I want to say thanks to my friends, my family and my coaches for being here with me today for this special moment. I have decided to continue my academic and athletic career at Temple University.
I am looking forward to the opportunity to be at a great school and to be part of a program that has such a great basketball tradition. Thank you again for all of your support and I hope to see you at the Liacouras Center next season!"
Ryan Brooks Career Highlights at Lower Merion: