From basketball to baseball, BE’s Brooks brings the heat
One day he’s running down the basketball court as a member of a team that captured attention all over the Palmetto State because of its glitzy winning streak, which reached 20 games.
The next day, he’s sprinting out to the mound as a member of a baseball team that was named the most dominant Class AAA team of the decade (2010-19). Not only that, it begins the 2020 season with an eye toward a fourth straight state championship.
Meet Daniel Brooks, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound junior, who was just named to the Region 7-AAA all-star basketball team. He begins the baseball season as one of the top prospects in the state, and has verbally accepted a scholarship offer from the College of Charleston.
He had little break time in between the seasons, but managed to reflect on the basketball team’s success. The Bishops finished with a 26-3 record and the region title. The Bishops did come up short in their bid for the first hoops title in school history.
“We had a pretty good team this year,” said Brooks, who gave the Bishops a strong inside presence because of his size, strength and athleticism. “We should have gone to the Lower State (championship), but we had a few things happen that we didn’t expect.
“I never worried about the winning streak,” Brooks continued. “I just thought about the next game. The whole team had that attitude. We just kept winning and winning until the streak got to 20 games.”
Brooks hit 59% from the field and was third on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game. He led the team with eight rebounds per game and 23 blocks for the season.
Now, he’s stepping up as a key part of the Bishops’ Green Machine that has been the model of baseball consistency under coach Mike Darnell. The team has posted a 79-20 record the last three seasons, while winning three state titles.
Brooks, who plays first base and pitcher, said he was able to work out during off time in the fall and during basketball season, so it shouldn’t take long to find his groove on the diamond. He says playing basketball makes him more athletic and quicker.
Geoffrey Gilbert was the star of the teams that reeled off three straight state titles. He’s now a member of the Clemson Tigers, and this year the spotlight will shine more on the future CofC player.
Brooks fared well last spring and came up with big plays on offense while being a force on the mound. He pitched in 10 games and posted a 2-1 record with a 1.45 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He scattered 29 hits and struck out 40 batters in 43 1/3 innings.
He batted .263 with a .295 slugging percentage. He hit a homer and drove in 18 runs.
He wants to improve his stats while becoming one of the team’s leaders.
“I’m not that vocal,” Brooks said. “I try to lead by my actions, what I do on the field.”