As one of the Washington Wizards’ most successful seasons in the team’s history winds down, the team’s new head coach and UCI soc sci alumnus Scott Brooks is celebrating a personal achievement along with his professional ones—being named UCI’s 2017 Lauds & Laurels Outstanding Alumni Athlete.

After serving as a key member of the Anteater basketball team until ‘87, Brooks went on to play in the NBA for 10 seasons before moving on to coaching. But despite the decades he’s spent in front of tens of thousands of NBA fans, he says the enthusiasm of UCI basketball supporters stays with him.

“Opening night at the Bren Center is one of my favorite UCI memories – enjoying the crazy atmosphere from our fans,” he says.

Brooks just joined the Wizards’ coaching staff last year, but he has already led the team to 46 wins as of press time, already ahead of their 41 wins last season. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship.

As for Brooks’ California fans wondering if he’ll ever make his way back to the Golden State, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Brooks was recognized at the Lauds & Laurels awards ceremony on March 30.

-photo courtesy of UCI Athletics

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