Honoring Black History: Looking back at Herbie Brooks’ basketball career

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MULLENS, WV (WVNS) — Herbie Brooks is someone everyone in the basketball community of Wyoming County knows. Brooks’ career started back at Mullens Elementary then continued in high school, thanks to his relationship with the late Don Nuckols.

“This is where it all started for me as far as Mullens High School basketball, when I was a youngster Coach Don Nuckols was the coach and I had the opportunity to go to a lot of the high school games,” Brooks said. “And just seeing how they played on the court. The excitement it generated in the community with the fans at the game, it was something I wanted to be a part of, and I started working at my game ever since then.”

After high school, Brooks went on the play for the WVU Mountaineers. Years later he got the chance to return to Wyoming County. While returning to his hometown is special, there is a bond on the sidelines of every game. Brooks is coaching with his son, Derek Brooks, for Wyoming East High School. This basketball season will mark the fifth year the dynamic duo coached together.

“It’s a great opportunity and it’s been wonderful, and what I appreciate the most about it is watching his growth, from year one to this coming up year five, as far as his interaction with the kids and coaching the kids and how he runs things. It’s been an absolute joy to see him grow in that position,” Brooks said.

Brooks was born and raised in Mullens, and it is the community he still calls home.

“Got some of the Mullens High School State Championship towels, I was fortunate enough to play in four state championship games,” Brooks said. “Won three of them. Lost the first one as a Freshman on a one and one with zero seconds on the clock; and there are some pictures of the state championship teams that have played on it and a picture of Coach Nuckols, Mike D’Antoni, Jerome Anderson, Willie Stewart. And the great coaches that have come through Mullens High School Coach, Lewis D’Antoni, Coach Don Nuckols, Coach Lenard Valentine, and my assistant Coach Jim Pauley. So that is a shrine to what we did at Mullen’s High School.”

Brooks said the friends he made through playing the sport he loves have become brothers to him. He said he hopes to continue to inspire and give back to the younger generation for years to come.

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