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Move afoot to name gym in Brooks honor
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LATHROP – Arnita Montiel wants to see the Lathrop Community Center gym named after Scott Brooks, arguably the city’s most famous son to date.

“I want you to reconsider naming the gym after a young man who was born and raised in Lathrop and has achieved so much in his young life,” longtime Lathrop resident Montiel said during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“I’m so proud of Scotty and what he has accomplished,” said Montiel who recalled the 2010 NBA Coach of the Year “when he was just a little tyke” playing basketball on the street in front of his house in Lathrop.

Montiel clarified she was not asking that the Community Center be renamed but “just the gym” where the head coach for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder as a young man “played lots and lots of hours” for days on end.

The service club she belongs to will even volunteer to fund the marker containing Brooks’ name that would be placed in the gym if the city approved it, Montiel added.

“Scotty, I believe, is not even six feet tall,” she said, and yet he went on to play for six NBA teams.

According to Brooks’ biography online, the 45-year-old coach is five feet-11 inches tall.

Montiel  then rattled off a small portion of Brook’s laundry list of accomplishments in the world of professional sports, as well as his educational accomplishments: NBA draft in 1987, member in chronological order of the Philadelphia 76ers (1988-90), the Minnesota Timberwolves (1990-92), the Houston Rockets (1992-1995), Dallas Mavericks (1995-1996), the New York Knicks (1996-1997), and the Cleaveland Cavaliers (1997-98). His career highlights include NBA Champion in 1994 and NBA Coach of the Year for 2009-10.

Born and raised in Lathrop, Brooks attended Lathrop Elementary School, East Union High School where he graduated in 1983, San Joaquin Delta College, and University of California at Irvine where he graduated in 1987.

Neither Mayor Kristy Sayles, Vice Mayor Martha Salcedo or Council members Christopher Mateo and Sonny Dhaliwal made any comment to Montiel’s suggestion.