Last week, it became official that Keion Brooks would be returning for a junior season in Lexington.
Ever since the season ended, Kentucky fans awaited an announcement from Brooks, and some thought he may look to transfer, but no news ever came out.
Despite speculation, Brooks says he never once entertained the idea of leaving Kentucky for another school or for a professional opportunity.
In an interview on Friday, Brooks explained that he didn’t think it was a big deal and didn’t see why he needed to announce he was back. He was focused on working out and improving his game for next season.
“I was just focusing on getting better,” Brooks said Friday at Kentucky’s satellite camp in Elizabethtown. “That was on the forefront of my mind. I don’t know where all the hoopla and speculation came from. Probably because I didn’t come out and announce it.
“To me, it’s not really a big deal. I don’t see why I should have to announce that I’m coming back to school. But I guess that’s what people look for.”
During the John Calipari era, Kentucky fans have gotten used to players leaving after one season and rarely having upperclassmen stay even when it is obvious that they needed to.
However, in recent seasons, we have started to see players like PJ Washington, Nick Richards, and Immanuel Quickley return for multiple seasons and still go on to have successful pro careers. Players like that have helped change the perception of Kentucky and played a big role in Brooks feeling that he could return for a third year.
“Players like Immanuel, PJ, they made it okay to come back,” Brooks said.” My journey wasn’t to be one and done...it’s taken a couple of years, and I’m just continuing trying to get better. If I keep doing that...hopefully, I can reach my dreams.”
Obviously, Brooks wants to be an NBA player one day, but for right now he is just focused on getting better and helping Kentucky win games next season.
As for the struggles of last season, Brooks isn’t spending much time reflecting on it and how it could have been different if COVID-19 didn’t factor into it. He is focusing on getting better and looking forward to playing in front of a full house at Rupp Arena.
“I’ve been telling all my teammates how loud it gets. You don’t even know until you experience for yourself. I’m excited to get back out there and play.”
You can check out Brooks’ full interview below.