Hangin' out with Sha brooks

Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 2:24 a.m.
The basics ... Sha Brooks (pronounced "Shay") is a 5-foot-7 freshman point guard from Jackson, Tenn. Brooks' defensive tenacity and 3-point shooting has quickly made her one of the top newcomers in the Southeastern Conference. She has been described by head coach Carolyn Peck as a "defensive gnat."
Accomplishments ... Brooks is on pace to become just the sixth Florida freshman to lead the team in scoring and first since Bernice Mosby in 2002-03. She currently leads the Gators with an average of 13.9 points per game. That mark is second among SEC freshmen behind Tennessee's Candice Parker (14.2). Brooks also leads Florida in 3-pointers made (32), steals (39) and is third in assists (32).
Brooks on ...
  • THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT LEAVING JACKSON, TENN., AND BEING A FRESHMAN AT UF: "No friends. No family. Being so far away from home. Having to wake up at 6 o'clock in the morning during Summer B to be on the track at 7. Sometimes we practice against boys. They've been practicing really, really hard against us, forcing a lot of turnovers. It's kind of frustrating me in practice, but it helps me in the games."
  • HOW LITTLE SHE TRAVELED GROWING UP IN JACKSON: "When my mom first met my stepdad I was 10 and we traveled a lot. But as time went by that slowed down. I hadn't been to a lot of places like New York and stuff like that. This is my first time ever doing that (during Florida's trip to Seton Hall in November). It's been fun. I get to fly a whole lot more. I had flown twice before (coming to UF). It's scary at first but once you get used to it it's alright."
  • BEING HOMESICK AFTER COMING TO UF: "I got homesick Summer B and the first semester of fall. I was really anxious to go home. When I went home for Christmas I really didn't want to come back. I was crying. I knew I was going to miss my family a lot. Before I first came down here, I told my family, 'I'm not going to miss y'all. I'm going to go down there and have fun.' But it's a whole different ballgame once you're down here. You're so far away from your family and friends."
  • HOW MUCH SHE'S GROWN SINCE ARRIVING LAST SUMMER: "I feel like I really have. I have a lot of responsibility. I don't have my parents to fuss at me or yell at me when my grades are down. I'm living on my own, which is new."
  • WHO HAS HELPED HER THE MOST AT UF: "Dalila (Eshe) and Sarah (Lowe). But Dalila the most. They know when I get homesick. They call me and say, 'Let's go to this place or let's go out to eat.' They ask me to hang out at their house and watch movies or just chill. They ask me if there's anything I need to talk about. They tell me I can talk to them about anything and be open. It's great."
  • WHAT ATHLETE SHE ADMIRES MOST: "Allen Iverson because he's so small yet he works hard. He doesn't let his size determine how hard he plays in game. He gives 120 percent."
  • HER JOB IN HIGH SCHOOL: "It was at Foot Locker. I was working with my cousin, Keith, which is how I got the job. He talked to his boss and got me the job. Keith started showing me the ropes and what I'm supposed to do. Once I got used to it we all would just sit and trip out and tell jokes and help the customers or whatnot. It was fun. I liked it."
  • WHAT IS BEHIND THE TEAM'S 13-2 START: "Chemistry. We all know each other on and off the court. We come in and work on stuff we need to work on. Sometimes we don't' have a great practice. But we're trying to get it so we work hard the whole hour or two hours that we're in here, so when we get ready to play a game it doesn't catch up to us in the game."
  • HER NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: I haven't really given it much thought. But if I had to have one it would probably be to pray more and to go to church more and just to be very social because I'm a very shy person. I sometimes don't really say too much.
  • WHAT HER COACHES TELL HER ABOUT SHOOTING THE 3-POINTER: When I first came I was hesitant to shoot. (Assistant) Coach (Michael) Peck was like 'We brought you here to shoot the 3. Just have confidence in your shot. If it falls great, if it doesn't just go back on defense and get it back.' "
    - Brandon Zimmerman
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