The bigger the stage, the better 10-year-old Jalen Brooks performed. The 4-9, 80-pound shooting guard for the Playtime Panthers (Hackensack, N.J.) was named the MVP of the Best of the Best Tournament in Springfield, Mass. during Memorial Day weekend after scoring a championship game-high 26 points against the Long Island Lightning.
Other highlights for Brooks include scoring a game-best 16 to help Playtime knock off the Natural Ballers in the New Jersey state final; he posted 27 points against the Shoreshots in the championship of the Goats Tournament (11U) and fired in 22 points as Playtime wrapped up the 11-and-under division at the Central Jersey Cardinals Tournament.
Brooks, a lefty who uses his speed to attack the basket and an adept touch to finish once he gets there, took home MVP honors again two weeks ago, this time while playing for the Natural Ballers at the Junior National Invitational in Springfield. He strung together a four-game run where he posted 20, 17, 19 and 23 points as the first-year program defeated the Connecticut Basketball Club for the crown
He wrapped up his AAU season last week by scoring 20 points for Playtime in an elimination-game loss against the Kansas City PAL at the Division 1 10U National Championships in Detroit.
Brooks, who also excels in football, averaged 15 points and four steals per game this season.