Coach Keith Dambrot has added another local talent to the University of Akron men's basketball team.
Rydell Brooks, a 2006 Buchtel High School graduate, has transferred from Niagara University to the University of Akron and is a member of the Zips men's basketball team, UA Assistant Director of Athletics Media Relations Gregg Bach said.
Bach said Brooks will have to sit out the 2007-08 season and will be eligible to play at UA the following three seasons. Brooks is currently a walk-on.
Brooks, a 6-foot-2 and 190-pound guard, led Buchtel to three consecutive City Series championships. He was selected as the City Series Player of the Year his junior and senior years and was a Division II second-team all-Ohio pick as a senior.
Brooks averaged 27.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals during his senior campaign as the Griffins leader.
He helped Niagara win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship as a freshman. Niagara went 23-12 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The Purple Eagles won 12 consecutive games, including the a win over Florida A&M in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to Kansas.
Brooks played in all 35 games with 30 starts. He averaged 4.7 points in 18 minutes per game.
The addition of Brooks gives the Zips six area high school graduates on the roster: Tim Carroll (CVCA), Eric Coblentz (Lake), Nick Goddard (Wadsworth), Andrew Moss (Copley), Jeremiah Wood (Central-Hower) and Brooks.
UA went 26-7 last season, winning the Mid-American Conference East Division title and losing in the MAC Tournament championship game. The Zips must replace standouts Romeo Travis and Dru Joyce III, a pair of 2003 St. Vincent-St. Mary graduates, that were key players for four years.
Photo courtesy of Niagra University athletics