On April 10, 2021 Michigan State basketball signee Pierre Brooks II walked off from the court at Breslin Center as a state champion. The 6-foot-6-inch wing put up 15 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists as Detroit Douglas defeated Wyoming Tri-unity Christian in the Division 4 championship game by a score of 47-41.
Just six days later, Brooks was back at the media center of Detroit Douglas, and instead of a basketball uniform, he was wearing a three-piece suit as he accepted another piece of hardware: the 2021 Hal Schram Michigan Mr. Basketball award.
As a senior at Detroit Douglas, Brooks had a dominant year. He averaged 33.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. This performance allowed Brooks to edge out Iron Mountain’s Foster Wonders (verbally committed to Southern Illinois), Grand Rapids Christian’s Kobe Bufkin (University of Michigan), Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Julian Roper II (Northwestern), and River Rouge’s Legend Geeter (Providence) for the award.
Brooks is currently ranked as a top-70 recruit nationally by both 247Sports (No. 66) and Rivals (No. 68). He is part of a three-man class that ranks No. 8 in nationally, which also includes top-25 shooting guard Max Christie and top-60 point guard Jaden Akins.
This trio of incoming freshmen wings and guards will all be expected to make an immediate impact on the Spartan roster in 2021-22, along with Northeastern transfer point guard Tyson Walker and possibly Keon Coleman, who will be under scholarship for football, but plans to also play basketball. The new additions will try to offset for the departures of Aaron Henry to the NBA, Josh Langford to graduation, and Rocket Watts to the transfer portal.
Pierre Brooks II becomes the 16th overall Mr. Basketball award winner to suit up for the Spartans over the 41 years in which the award has been in existence, leading all other schools. The University of Michigan is in second place with a total of 11 awardees.
The Mr. Basketball Award was initiated in 1981 with Spartan great Sam Vincent claiming the first trophy. Then Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote would go on to sign three additional Mr. Basketball winners in Matt Steigenga (1988), Anthony “Pig” Miller (1990), and Jon Garavaglia (1993).
Since Coach Tom Izzo took over the program in 1996, he has signed a total of 12 Mr. basketball winners, starting in 1999 with Jason Richardson. The other awards winners were Marcus Taylor (2000), Kelvin Torbert (2001), Paul Davis (2002), Drew Neitzel (2004), Derrick Nix (2009), Keith Appling (2010), Matt Costello (2012), Deyonta Davis (2015), Cassius Winston (2016), and Foster Loyer (2018) and now Brooks (2021).
Of those 12 award winners, all but two (Appling and Deyonta Davis) played on a team that made the Final Four. Only time will tell if Brooks will be able to add to that legacy.