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Beautiful Take Home Message From Keion Brooks, Jr.

Remember Keion Brooks?

Yeah, that guy—the 6’7” sophomore UK forward from Ft. Wayne, Indiana who could jump out of the gym. He’s the same Keion Brooks who could make your jaw drop with a rim-rattling dunk or an acrobatic floater down the lane. He’s the same high-flyer who was instrumental during his freshman season in helping his team to that scintillating comeback road victory over Florida during the last game of the regular season.  

Being the only returning UK player with any experience playing for Coach John Calipari, all of BBN looked forward to watching Keion in his starring role this year leading another version of Coach Cal’s Kiddie Corps. But alas, a leg injury stunted his progress and with the influx of five-star talent, Keion became almost an afterthought.

Mr. Confident

For those thinking Brooks would just fade passively into the end of the bench, think again.

“I have no worries at all about being passed up by anybody,” Brooks said at this afternoon’s zoom meeting with media. “Not to say I don’t wish my teammates well, but I’m confident in my ability, confident in the work I put in, that when I do come back, I’ll be ready to go. So that’s the least of my worries.”

I’m not sure there could have been a better scripted answer than that. With Keion Brooks, Jr., confidence is king—and should serve him well as he completes his recovery.

Sage Advice

But Keion wasn’t finished dispensing pearls of wisdom. Being a person of strong faith, he knows the redemptive power of adversity—of being able to come back from an injury. Here’s what he learned about himself during the time he sat out.

“You can’t take anything for granted,” he explained. “I was feeling really really good before I got hurt. [The injury] set me back a little bit, but I’m back to feeling well. Don’t take any moment or time for granted. I missed being out there with my teammates every day, competing, running around, and going through it with them.”

Don’t take any moment or time for granted.

Whether basketball or life—especially life—that’s something we all need to focus on and adhere to. Life is precious. It’s often too short. We are like a mist that appears for a short time and then vanishes. Every moment needs to be meticulously savored, treasured, and cherished.

In the meantime, Brooks continues to practice with the team. He’s still participating in individual workouts. He feels great. When the doctors give him the green light, he’ll be ready to go full speed.

“I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason,” Brooks said when pressed about his recovery. “I believe that God has a plan for me. I’m just not ready right now, but I know that I will be ready in the near future. I look at it as a blessing–take a step back and really analyze what’s going on out there on the floor.”

Don’t take any moment or time for granted.

Dr. John Huang
Dr. John Huang is a retired orthodontist and military veteran. As a lifelong Wildcat fan, a fledgling author, and an occasional guest host of Just the Cats Radio, he's now living out his dream as a UK Sports columnist. Dr. Huang also covers professional sports on a regional level. You can follow him on Twitter @KYHuangs or contact him If you enjoy his writing, you can also read more at

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