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  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The future of Keion Brooks Jr. at North Side may be uncertain, as he's spoken with prep academies.

Sunday, July 29, 2018 1:00 am

Brooks' immediate future uncertain

Basketball star not sure yet where he will be playing next

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Keion Brooks Jr., an incoming senior at North Side and one of the top recruits in the country for the 2019 class, remains undecided on where he'll play this season, he told The Journal Gazette on Saturday night.

Brooks, a Fort Wayne native, said he is still enrolled at North Side, though he has talked to a handful of prep academies about playing his final season for their teams. Among the schools Brooks is considering is La Lumiere School, an elite prep academy in LaPorte. His father, Keion Brooks Sr., tweeted earlier in the day: “Not official!” in response to speculation that a move to La Lumiere had been finalized.

Brooks Jr. said he's also spoken with Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, and Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida. When asked whether any of the three had stood out to him, he said “Not necessarily.”

“It's prep school, I kind of know what comes with it,” the 6-foot-7 forward said. “National schedule, couple games on TV, a lot of travel. No one in particular really stood out to me.”

All three academies Brooks has talked to have produced talented basketball players. Most recently, Jaren Jackson Jr. played his senior season at La Lumiere and went on to be the No. 4 overall pick in the NBA Draft after a season at Michigan State.

Carmelo Anthony is among the numerous stars to come out of Oak Hill and Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons both played at Montverde.

Brooks Jr. stressed he is still considering returning to North Side for his senior season. Gary Andrews, entering his first season as head coach of the Legends, said the senior had been at his team's open gym Tuesday.

“We're hoping Keion stays,” Andrews said. “We wish him the best whatever he does, but we hope he stays.” 

Brooks said he'd spoken with Andrews and called him a “winner.”

“He has a great championship pedigree,” Brooks said of Andrews, who won three state titles with the Bishop Luers girls basketball team.

“(And) a winning résumé. I pride myself on being a winner, as well, so hopefully that relationship will blossom,” he added.

Brooks said he is trying to become a better ball-handler and a more vocal leader on the court during his senior season. He could accomplish those goals at any of the schools he is considering, but he also mentioned some positives that would come with finishing his high school career at North Side.

“I'd be able to stay home, play in front of my family,” he said. “I'm a couple hundred points away from being North Side's all-time leading scorer. We could win another (SAC) holiday championship, which would be my fourth in a row, and sixth in a row for North Side all together.

“I could be an Indiana All-Star, I could possibly win Mr. Basketball. Those are the things that really stick out when I think about staying at home.”

Brooks said he doesn't have a time frame for when he'll make his decision and is “taking it day by day.” 

dsinn@jg.net