March 4, 2011
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team closes out the regular season this weekend when the Irish travel to Storrs, Conn., to face the Connecticut Huskies at 2:00 p.m., on Sat., March 5, at Gampel Pavilion. Notre Dame enters the weekend with a 24-5 overall record and is 13-4 in the BIG EAST, just a game behind first-place Pittsburgh in the conference standings. The Irish, ranked eighth in the Associated Press poll and seventh in the ESPN/USA Today rankings, have clinched a bye in the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament all the way to the quarterfinals. Sophomore guard Joey Brooks has come off the bench for the Irish in 24 games this season, averaging 1.6 points per game and 1.2 rebounds. The 6-6, 215-pound native of Houston, Texas recently had a chance to sit down with und.com’s Hilary Ferguson to talk about himself, the team’s success and Notre Dame basketball.
The Notre Dame men’s basketball team (24-5, 13-4 Big East) is off to their best start ever in 11 seasons under Coach Mike Brey. As of now, you are second place in the conference as well. What do you think has contributed to your success as a team? Any certain teammates, coaches, or moments that come to mind? During the summer, after a less than inspiring Friday morning workout, we came together as a team, no coaches present and promised that from that day on we would have each others back. And do whatever it took to maximize our potential as a team. That is when we came up with “13 deep” representing the thirteen players and how we can only rely on each other.
What were your goals individually and as a team coming into this season? My goals were to help the team anyway I could and do whatever needed to be done on the court to win. As a team our goal was to reach our potential, whatever that is. We still don’t know.
What is your most memorable moment in your time here at Notre Dame so far, whether on or off the court? My most memorable moment came this year when I got a chance to play in Madison Square Garden, a place that I grew up watching all the great players play.
Do you have any pre-game rituals? My pregame rituals are just listening to music and praying!
Did you play any sports other than basketball? I don’t have much time for any other sports, but I do play Madden and Fifa a lot!
Why did you decide to come to Notre Dame? It was the unique combination of a great education and one of the most competitive leagues in the country. Playing at a high major level, while getting one of the best educational experiences money can buy.
What is the most difficult part of being a student-athlete at Notre Dame? The most difficult part of being a student-athlete at Notre Dame is the time commitment and how much goes into doing what we do as members of the basketball team.
What is your major, and why did you choose it? I am a Business major and I have no idea why!
What are your other hobbies outside of basketball? I really enjoy listening to music, I like to swim and do stuff outsides. I am an Eagle Scout so I enjoy fresh air.
Pick three words to describe yourself. The three words that best describe me are competitive, compassionate and fun!
How do you feel your game or skills have changed since you were a freshman? The biggest changes for me are the mental part of my game is what has been the biggest hurdle for me. I am still learning and gaining confidence, which will benefit me as I go further in my career.
What do you miss most about home? The things I miss about home are my family and my friends. My boys to be specific.
Have you traveled anywhere particularly cool for basketball? We got to go to Disney World for a tournament this year. Also, Madison Square Garden was an amazing place to play.
If you were given a million dollars today, what would you do with it? If I got a million dollars today, I would probably invest it in the stock market, haha.
Do you have a dream job after you leave Notre Dame? My dream job after Notre Dame would be to work in the front office of an NBA organization and eventually become a General Manager.
What is/are your favorite movie(s)? My favorite movies are the “Lion King” and “Remember the Titans.”
Where is your favorite place on campus? My favorite place on campus is my dorm room.
Who was your favorite athlete that you looked up to growing up? My favorite athlete growing up would be Kobe Bryant, without a doubt.
What advice would you give incoming freshman? The best advice that I would give an incoming freshman is to enjoy every second because college goes by fast.
What is your favorite away-game destination/environment to play in? My favorite places would be playing in Madison Square Garden, the Bradley Center in Milwaukee and Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.