Keion Brooks Jr. stands with Tiffany Gooden after receiving the 2018 Tiffany Gooden Award during Monday's banquet at the Parkview Mirro Center. (Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette)
Keion Brooks Jr.'s father, Keion Brooks Sr., left, was given the Tiffany Gooden Award in 1995. “He's been better than me for a while now,” he said of his son.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:00 am
Brooks awarded Gooden
North Side star's father won in '95; Carroll, South Side coaches honored
AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette
Tiffany Gooden Award: Keion Brooks Jr., North Side
SAC Girls Coach of the Year: Juanita Goodwell, South Side
SAC Boys Coach of the Year: Marty Beasley, Carroll
The 25th presentation of the Tiffany Gooden Award marked the first second-generation winner as North Side's Keion Brooks Jr. was announced as this year's recipient at The Journal Gazette and Parkview Sports Medicine Basketball Awards Banquet at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation on Monday.
Keion Brooks Sr. won the award in 1995, the first recipient after Gooden.
“We have the same name and things like that,” Brooks Jr. said. “So I'm just happy to carry on his legacy and continue what he did in his career to show how much hard work and time he's spent with me to come out and perform every night and win the award.
“It feels great. It's something I dreamed about coming into high school. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point.”
Brooks Jr. won the award over Craig Young of Wayne, Carissa Garcia of Concordia and Sylare Starks of Homestead.
Brooks stood out to Gooden for his continued development throughout his high school career.
“What I appreciated about him is that I can see his growth and development in various aspects of his game each year,” she said. “I noticed that he got a lot stronger this year, his upper body strength was stronger which enabled him to be a lot more physical. His jump shot has always been good, but I think he's continued to develop that, as well.”
Brooks Sr. is an assistant coach with the Legends and has worked with his son to continue elevating his game.
“I always tell him that he has to be better than dad. He was itching for this, he wanted to have something to say, 'I'm here with you now,' and hopefully he keeps working and the things he's done in the past will help him get it again next year.
“He's been better than me for a long time now,” he added, with a laugh.
South Side's Juanita Goodwell was named the SAC girls coach of the year, which came as a surprise to her because of the parity in the conference this season.
The Archers finished the season as SAC Tournament champions and sectional champions.
“It feels great. I was actually surprised and I wasn't expecting it, I guess. It does feel great,” she said. “Just preparing for the season, when we had the media day, one of the things that was asked was who do you think is going to do it (win the SAC). We had a lot of senior-laden teams and I think it was really going to be that senior team that was going to make the difference.
“That's really what this season was all about, we had four seniors that drove us and really fired everyone else up and gave them a lot of positive reinforcement to keep fighting and continue to get better. That's really what the season came down to was that senior leadership. I'm really looking forward to what they've left that will trickle down to our younger players.”
Carroll coach Marty Beasley was named the conference's boys coach of the year as the Chargers won the SAC regular-season crown.
“I think the regular season title is far greater,” he said. “It's a team award. Our kids bought in to doing what they had to do, they were great leaders, great teammates and without that happening, the coach of the year would not have happened. I'm more impressed that our kids went out, after they lost (against Wayne) and won the next (seven), that's awesome for our team and our kids.”