It’s not very often young athletes get to play for a team they rooted for with their family as a kid, but that’s exactly the case for Durral Brooks.
Brooks was a Michigan fan growing up, and being close to home definitely played a factor in his decision.
“I was, and my entire family was too,” Brooks told Maize n Brew. “It’s so close to home, so everyone that supports me is going to be able to come watch. It’s right down the street, so that’s definitely good.”
Brooks officially visited Michigan back in the fall, and he was able to attend a football game and three games at the Crisler Center in total this past season. He felt a close connection to the staff, including Saddi Washington, who was very excited when he talked with Brooks a day after his commitment.
“It felt like family visiting there,” Brooks said. “And being around the staff, it felt like home to me.”
Brooks committed for the same reasons a lot of high school seniors do; he loved the feel of being on a campus, he loved the college town, and he loves getting to play for a team he rooted for as a kid.
Also interested in the business program, Brooks wants to get into real estate.
“It’s a good campus because it’s more like a town, like a downtown area where people just hang out,” Brooks said. “I like the Crisler (Center), it’s nice, big and spacious. Some great colors, I love being down there.”
Brooks has received a congrats from a few Wolverines, including former players in Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin, and current player Will Tschetter.
Strengths & Areas of Improvement on the court
Many young guards see themselves as top scorers, but when asked about what he thinks he’s best at on the court, Brooks mentioned his strengths on the other end.
“I would say my defense, the energy I bring, being able to get my teammates involved,” Brooks said. “Keep my teammates involved in the game, like if they make a mistake, being able to pick them up. Effort, a lot of intensity on defense, and good play on both sides of the court.”
Brooks stayed pretty humble when assessing his game, but he’s the top-ranked recruit from the state of Michigan in the 2024 class for a number of reasons. He’s excellent in transition, he dictates the pace of the game and with quick feet and hands, he makes life hell for opposing guards.
Brooks was candid talking about areas of improvement. Between now and his Michigan career, he wants to make better decisions on the floor and improve his shot-making.
“Probably improving my three-point shot,” Brooks said. “Just working on making smarter decisions, knowing when to pass the ball, when not to. Different IQ plays, reading defenses better, and being able to read offenses better to. Probably just improving my IQ, as well.”
In 2021-22, Brooks helped lead Grand Rapids Catholic Central to the Division II state title game, but they came up just short, losing to Williamston, 68-65. He wants to lead the Cougars to a state title in his senior season, and he said he gained a bit of perspective after that loss from his sophomore season.
“Hopefully we can get back to the Breslin and win another state title,” Brooks said. “I learned that everything doesn’t go your way. It’s a team loss, it’s not just one person’s fault. When everything doesn’t go your way, you got to be prepared for the worst. No matter what, the people that support you are going to have your back, win or lose. I would say it’s important to keep people around you that support you and care about you, whether you win or lose.”
Goals at Michigan, NBA aspirations
When asked about what he wants to accomplish as a Wolverine, it’s clear that winning is a priority for Brooks.
“Obviously (I want to) win a Big Ten title, hopefully go to the NCAA Tournament, maybe even win a National Championship,” Brooks said. “Those are all things I definitely look forward to when I get up to Michigan.”
Like many young players across the country, Brooks dreams of playing in the NBA one day, and he loves seeing a talented guard he grew up with going through the draft process.
“That’s been a childhood dream,” Brooks said. “I grew up with Kobe (Bufkin) my whole life, it’s definitely been better seeing him go play at the next level. That would definitely be a dream come true for me.”