LATHROP – It was just weeks ago that Lathrop’s own Scott Brooks was coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
This Saturday he’ll be returning to his hometown to be honored with a dinner and gym dedication.
Brooks was named the NBA coach of the year after leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to their best season ever. He’s a former NBA player who was on the 1994 Houston Rockets championship team. The 5-foot-11 point guard and East Union High standout also played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
East Union’s retired Coach Bill Stricker is working with Jaime Hernandez of the Lathrop Lions club in putting this dinner together along with a basketball clinic that Brooks will be conducting for two days at Lathrop High School.
The Lathrop Lions Club is honoring Brooks on Saturday with a special dinner inside the gymnasium at the Lathrop Community Center that bears his name. The fundraiser will benefit programs and the outreach efforts that the group sponsors in and around town.
According to Arnita Montiel of the Lions Club, the group will be making a proposal to the City Council asking permission to place a plaque near the entrance to the gym that outlines the accomplishments of one of Lathrop’s most accomplished sons.
Hopefully, she said, it will help foster inspiration in the children who utilize the facility.
“I feel like there will be kids in the future who will want to know, ‘Who is Scott Brooks and why did they name this gym after him?’” Montiel said. “I want them to be able to read this and see his accomplishments and think to themselves, ‘If he can do it, maybe I can too.’
“Scott set his sights high and he went out and accomplished what he wanted to do in his life. It’s a great success story and I think that he’s a great role model for kids to look up to and aspire to be.”
Just last week Brooks sent a handful of autographed items from the team that will be auctioned off to benefit the Lions Club, including a pair of autographed Size 18 shoes from Kevin Durant, a jersey signed by Russell Westbrook, and hats signed by both Durant and Westbrook. Door prizes include autographed items by Brooks as well as a basketball signed by Durant and Westbrook.
Tickets for the dinner are $25 each or two for $45. They can be purchased by contacting Montiel at 858-2877 or 629-0833.