Eli Brooks hasn’t been shy about returning to the place where he first made his name.
Last Thursday, the former Spring Grove and Michigan point guard hosted the Eli Brooks Basketball Fundraiser at the former Central York gym, with 20% of the proceeds going towards providing local athletes with new shoes.
The event featured an autograph session with Brooks, a silent auction of an autographed shirt by Brooks, a dunk contest and a 3-point shootout with the first-year NBA athlete. Children were also invited to participate in drills with Brooks and coaches. The fundraiser included a DJ and food trucks with options from Taqueria El Camino and On the Moove.
The former Wolverine said it was his duty to bring what he had learned back home.
“I want to participate in the community. I’m excited to have these camps and work with the youth in York County,” said Brooks. “It’s a blessing to see how the kids have grown. I’m happy to be in this position of giving back.”
Twice in the last few months, Brooks has made an appearance in York. His first appearance was at a fundraising event in July. After playing in the summer league with the Indiana Pacers, Brooks hopes to hold on to the team as the NBA season approaches. He said he plans to work the way he worked in Michigan.
“It’s the same story. I have to work hard,” Brooks said. “I have to keep working on myself and get better. It will not be easy. It’s familiar territory.”
Brooks spent the summer league with the team and has an Exhibit 10 contract – a minimum one-season contract that can be converted into a two-way contract with the NBA’s G-League. He hopes to join the roster or solidify a spot in the G-League when the NBA season begins on October 18. an uphill battle.
The 23-year-old said he will continue to contribute to the community where he still has fond memories of playing.
“I’ve had some of my favorite games here at home – winning a championship and seeing all the people in the stands at that game,” Brooks said of his time at Spring Grove. “The county championships were crazy. So many people were there to support us.”
Fans also had the chance to ask Brooks questions during an open-ended response. One question asked by the audience was what advice would Brooks give his younger self. He said his message also applies to the youth in the community.
“Make sure you have connections and resources,” he said. “Make sure you arrive. Ask the people you admire. Ask as many questions as you need. Choose people’s brains.”