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By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
Anthony Brooks might not be the biggest guy on the court, but he never backed down from a challenge.

Now the Elmira senior will be facing a new challenge as he committed to play basketball at Genesee Community College.

“I’m super excited to play collegiate basketball,” Brooks said. “All undersized guards know the struggle of recruitment and just having the opportunity is a blessing.”

Brooks spent the past three years running the Elmira offense, and now he’ll be heading to college with the chance to do the same thing.

“I can’t say enough about the things he brought to our program,” Elmira coach Ryan Johnson said. “I brought him up as a 10th grader. He didn’t disappoint. He sacrificed, 10th grade year he came up and learned from some older guys. 11th grade year I thought he was very, very good. He got us into everything we needed to be in, he set the tone, not only offensively, but defensively. It’s hard to replace a guy like that, he’ll sorely be missed, but we are excited and happy about his future.”

For Brooks he liked everything he saw with GCC.

“I needed a change of scenery, I like Batavia, I feel like it’s a good start, it’s not too far, but not as close,” Brooks said. “As well as the coaching staff recruiting me hard and making it feel like GCC is the place to be.”

For Brooks being close to home means his family and friends can watch him play.

“It’s great, because if I ever needed home it’s not that far and for breaks and things like that I don’t have to drive super far to get on the planes or anything crazy and my family can come see me play without it being that much of a struggle getting there,” Brooks said.

For Johnson it is nice to see Brooks take the time and find the right fit for him, and he knows that GCC is a good program for Brooks to be a part of.

“At the end of the day it’s his choice,” Johnson said. “He’s got to do what makes him happy and feels like what will make him the most successful, whatever the best fit is for him. I told him I’d support him no matter what he chose, and they have a very good program up there. I had an opportunity to talk to the coach, and he’ll walk right into a competitive atmosphere and I think he’ll go right there and fit right in.

“I’m proud of him, he did his due diligence. He went through the process and didn’t rush it. It’s a bright future for him. He’s a gym rat, they are getting a very good basketball player that’s going to be committed and dedicated. One of my last text messages to him was always make sure you put your grades first and he said that’s what I’m going there for.”

Brooks plans to major in business administration in college One of the reasons Brooks chose GCC was he feels like it’s a place that can make him better.

“The biggest improvement I’d like to make in college is just to keep gaining confidence and that is a big reason why I chose GCC,” Brooks said. “I feel like the coaches trust me and I can grow as a player and a person there.”

For Brooks the hope is that he keeps getting better at GCC and eventually ends up at an even higher level of college, and ultimately gets a chance to play pro basketball.

“The goal for me is to go on to play Division 2 or Division 1 basketball,” Brooks said. “I have a few schools in mind where I’d like to continue at, but the ultimate goal is to be a professional basketball player overseas. It’s always been a dream to play basketball for money and if I’m at the right schools that have connections there is a possibility that could happen.”

Along with playing for Elmira the guard also learned a lot playing for City of Lights Hoops Group.

“”Thank you to coach Ted (Peet) for not only helping with this whole process, but also pushing me to become a better player and man everyday,” Brooks said.

Peet knows that Brook is destined for great things.

“I have had the privilege to coach AB for the past three years and it has been just that, an absolute privilege. Anthony is the definition of a self-made player. He wasn’t blessed with tremendous physical attributes, but through his own hard work and absolute dedication to the craft he’s made himself one of the absolute best to ever come out of the 607. His future is so bright because of his work ethic and dedication. The future holds great things for this young man.”

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