YFO Performer of the Week – Jalen Brooks
(New Brunswick, NJ) Ask Jalen Brooks what’s his favorite sport and without hesitation he will say, “basketball.”
But the 13-year-old Plainfield, NJ resident will also point out, “football is starting to catch up a little bit.”
Brooks, who is ranked 25th in the country in hoops by BBallSpotlight.com, is starting to make a name for himself on the gridiron too.
The running back for the Central Jersey Seminoles of the American Youth Football league ran for 120 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown against the Paterson Cardinals on Sunday. He also ran in an extra point and scored on two kick returns (70 and 60 yards, respectively) in the 25-12 victory.
The week before he shook loose for 170 rushing yards, scored a touchdown on the ground and added another extra point run in just one half of play in a 21-0 win against the Bronx Steelers.
That’s almost 300 yards rushing and six scores in six quarters for Brooks. Not bad for a part-time football player.
Although it is football season, the 5-7, 125 pounder still trains in basketball for up to two hours daily after school before heading to football practice. Unlike football season, which for Brooks will end when the Seminoles are eliminated from the postseason, basketball never stops.
The speedster who uses just enough wiggle to escape would-be tacklers is hoping he can lead the Seminoles one place higher than his basketball squad, Team IZOD, finished at AAU nationals in Memphis this past summer.
“We finished second in the country,” said Brooks, who attends The Patrick School in Elizabeth. “I don’t care if it’s basketball or football. My dream is to win a national championship.”