Cedric Brooks (If You Are Not First Then You Are Last)

Cedric Brooks is a 32 year old 185cm guard that was born in Frankfurt, Germany and grew up in Texas. He has been a professional basketball player for 10 years. He started his basketball career at  Pittsburg St. (NCAA2) and in his senior year played 28 games: 20.8ppg, 3.7rpg, 3.9apg, 2.7spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3Pts: 30.0%, FT: 82.4%. He started his professional basketball career in 2003 and in his first two seasons played in some Spanish summer leagues, in the WBA and in mexico. In 2005 he came to Germany and has played here most of his career. He played for Nordlingen from 2005-2007 and in his second season led the German second Bundesliga in scoring playing  30 games: Score-1(24.9ppg), 2.9rpg, 3.9apg, Steals-2(3.4spg), 2FGP: 59.4%, 3FGP: 35.1%, FT: 82.4%. In 2007-2008, he played for Saint Vallier Basket Dr쎴me (France-ProB): 11 games: 9.7ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.5apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 39.1%, 3PT: 37.0%, FT: 72.0%, left the team for medical reasons, played shortly at Correcaminos UAT Victoria (Mexico-LNBP, starting five): 3 games: 10.0ppg, 3.3rpg, 3.3apg, 3.0spg, in Feb.’08 joined Atomeromu SE Paks (Hungary-A Division): 8 games: 10.8ppg, 1.6rpg, 1.0apg. In 2008-2009 he played for  FC Bayern Muenchen (Germany-ProA, starting five): 23 games: 15.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-5(2.0spg), FGP: 55.9%, 3PT: 32.5%, FT: 76.5%. He played for the Kirchheim Knights from 2009-2013 playing a total of  112 games. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

 

Thanks Cedric for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and what are you doing?

Hello Miles. I am currently in Texas. Working out with some Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League and also working at a car dealership for a little extra money until I can find an offer to come back to Europe.

How was your summer? What was the coolist experience that you had in the last months in the States?

My summer was great, I had the chance to see some old friends and go to a wedding. I also went to Orlando to work out with some teams. The coolest experience was being around friends and family, being able to travel and play basketball without any stress or worries.

You are almost 33 years old and unsigned at the moment. How difficult has this time been knowing you are physically ready to play, but have no team?
It is very difficult to be in my 30s and unsigned. I am in the best shape right now that I have been in years. My motivation is NOT having the type of season that I had last season, I embarrassed myself and most importantly my team. Wont happen again, guaranteed.

The basketball market seems to get tougher each season. What do you believe has been the biggest problem for you having to find a team? Have there been any offers? Or have they been bad situations?

 

I think the biggest problem for me finding a team is that people think that I am too expensive and also considering the season that I had last season. But I am willing to negotiate, I know its a business. I was also dealing with a minor injury last season which people outside of Kircheim did not know, I am 100% now. I will even take a tryout period to prove that. I have had a couple of offers outside of Germany but turned out not to be worth it for me.

How difficult is it for a player with increasing age to stay in shape and keeping the market value above normal for himself?

 

I don’t think it is difficult for a player to stay in shape if he/she puts their mind to it. Basketball is my first love so it comes natural for me, even when I am injured I still find a way to get on the basketball court or stay active. Of course, the older you get the more you have to stay active and stay in the gym. If you continuously do this then it will not be a problem to stay in shape. As soon as a player gets lazy then they are done.

You played the last four seasons with German pro A team Kirchheim. Did this time go fast?

The last four seasons in Kircheim went really fast, I loved it there. I still talk to a lot of people there and would love to go back. The city and fans of Kircheim will always be in my heart. 

What was your fondest memory with the Kirchheim Knights in the last four years?

 

I don’t think I have a fondest moment of Kircheim because I have so many. I think some of my fondest moments were the relationships that I made. Another moment was our 2011-2012 season, we went to Morocco and had a blast. You should see Coach Frenkie and Ahmad Smith do karaoke..haha.. Also, our 2012-2013 season, we went to Austria for preseason mostly for team building. Although half of us came back to Germany hurt from riding bikes in the mountains, it was a great time. I miss all of my teammates.

The club had some good teams. What was missing for reaching the first division?

 

There were two reasons why we didn’t move up to the first division our 2011-2012 season. We didn’t have a gym and we didn’t have the money. We qualified to move up in the finals against MBC despite our loss in the last game. We won the first game and lost the second.
Why didn´t the team want you back? Your stats decreased each season. Do you think that was a reason and your increasing age? How disappointed are you about the business side taking over a decision like that?

 

I don’t really know exactly why Kircheim did not want me back, I have heard that it was the money situation but I am not for sure. My stats decreased ONLY because our team increased, I didn’t have to do as much each season because our personnel got much better and our win/loss record got much better. But having the season that I had last season made me want to be the player that I was in Noerdlingen. I am Hungrier now. My age had nothing to do with my stats decreasing, I have done a lot of reevaluation and I know what I need to do, I just have to get one chance. I am a little disappointed about the business decisions but I cant do anything about that. I respect the decision and I wish nothing but the best. Just wish I had a little more trust.

How high is your confidence that you can still play and find a team now? Who has been supporting you the most during the last months?

 

My confidence of playing is higher than ever now, this summer I was playing in some leagues here in Texas and I showed that I am still capable of playing at the level that people want me on. I just have to find a team that will be willing to put me in the right situation, I am not signed with an agent at the moment so that will make things harder for me. If I do get the chance then I promise they wont regret it. The main people that I have been talking to and that have been supporting me have been Coach Mario Matic of Noerdlingen, Coach Roger Washington, Coach Mike Taylor who is now coaching in the NBA D League, and Wilu Lenger of Kircheim, and Coach Pat Elzie of Vectha. They have been by my side trying to help me in any way possible.

Your ex teammate Marcus Smallwood is also looking for a team. Do you ever talk with him about your situations? What advice do you guys give each other?

 

Marcus Smallwood is actually a good friend of mine, he is a friend off of the court. We talk from time to time about our situations in every way. We just try to stay positive, we both know that we can play at a high level but its frustrating to be home and watch other teams knowing that should be your spot. We know that our time is coming again, we just have to be patient and stay in shape. Be ready for the team that will give you another chance.

If you could describe your game and why any team could use your services now, how would you describe yourself to make your game attractive for anyone now?

I would describe my game in a nutshell, a warrior/ a winner. I hate to lose so I will do anything to get the W. For example, I always have to be first. If you are not first then you are last..haha

Early in your career you played for FC Bayern Munich. What kind of experience was that for you? Did you think that a few years later that they would  finally put money into that project and support it?

 

Playing for FC Bayern Munich was a great experience, I loved the city of Munich and the fans. The organization was very professional. I knew that they would put a lot of money into the project and really get behind the program but I just didn’t know when. The potential has always been there. 

Early in your career in Germany you played for Nordlingen and led the second Bundesliga in scoring with 24,0ppg. How disappointed are you that you never made the jump to the BBL? After a season like that you would have deserved it. Did you get any offers? You decided to play for Saint Vallier Basket Dr쎴me (France-ProB).

 

I have made peace with me not playing in the BBL in Germany, I knew that I was capable. Every time I came against a BBL team I made sure that they knew I could play at this level. I had the chance of playing in the BBL after that particular season but I chose to chase the money and play in France.

You played with ex player Gordon Scott who also had a long career and played into his 30s. What is your nicest experience with him on and off the court?

 

Gordon is like a big brother to me, he is a great person on and off the court. He will make you work on the court but at the same time help you out if you need it, a great teammate. The nicest experience on the court was in a game, he told me to throw him an alley op but I said “Man G, you are not gonna catch it old man..haha”. He said “trust me, just throw it up at the rim next time”, then I said ok. Next play I threw it up and he caught it then dunked the ball. I will never doubt him again. Off of the court, the best memory was me and him always hanging out at his apartment either playing dominoes, playing call of duty, or just chilling. My brother from another mother

With Kirchheim you played with Ahmad Smith. He has been an exceptional player in the second Bundesliga for years. Is this possibly the season he will make the jump to the Beko BBL?

 

Ahmad is a great pg, if he has the year that he is capable of having this season then a BBL team would be stupid not to take him next season.

How does a normal Cedric Brooks work out day look like? What do you do on and off the court to stay in physical and basketball shape?

My normal workout is as follows, get up in the morning to run/lift/ or do my INSANITY dvd workout, then I go to my old high school to shoot on the machine called the gun. I normally try to make about 500-750 before I leave. Then I go home and rest or play with my son. Later that night I play a little pick up ball with my friends just to keep my rhythm. But in the summer time I only box for my cardio, boxing was my favorite sport so I just do that for cardio, foot work, and hand/eye coordination. If you haven’t tried or heard of the INSANITY dvd workout then I suggest you google it and check it out. It is a serious workout.

Who was the toughest player that you had to play against in Germany?

The toughest player that I played against in Germany probably would be Julius Jenkins.

Where will the journey of the Houston Texans end this season?

The Houston Texans will go to the playoffs this year and go far just as long as everyone is healthy. Sky is the limit. GO TEXANS

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

 

The last DVD that I seen was Home Alone last night with my son. Dont judge me..hahaha.

 

Thanks Cedric for the chat.

 

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