Memphis Grizzlies

Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks feels 'indebted' to Team Canada, wants to prove he belongs

#Dillon Brooks
Dillon Brooks reacts during the game against the Sacramento Kings. (Getty)

If you've ever been around Dillon Brooks you know that he possesses a quiet confidence in his game. That confidence has turned him from a second-round pick who was expected to develop in the G League to the only rookie from a season ago to play in all 82 games - starting 74 of them for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Proves the doubters wrong isn't something new for Brooks, it's been something he has had to deal with for many years. Brooks now finds himself a part of the young core that is expected to take the Canadian national team to the next level, beginning next year at the FIBA World Cup in China, but there was a time the Mississauga Ontario native didn't think he would play for his country.

"You know, I tried out for a provincial team when I was probably 13 or 14," Brooks told SLAM's Ryan Jones. "I got cut, and I told myself, this is all politics, I'm better than most of these guys, I'll never play for Team Canada again."

It took a few years, and a discussion with one of the national team head coach and Brooks was back in the fold eventually playing for his country at the youth level and then again helping Canada win a silver medal at the 2015 PanAm games in Toronto alongside Jamal Murray.

"Ever since then, I know that ultimately I was blessed to play with Team Canada again," Brooks continued. "I feel like I'm indebted to Team Canada-I just want to prove myself every single year that I belong on that team."

If there was any doubt whether or not Brooks could hang in the NBA he quickly quieted that argument averaging 11.0 points, 3.1 rebounds in his rookie year for the Grizzlies in 2017-18.

Solid numbers and a good foundation to build on heading into his second NBA season, but if you know Brooks you know he's not even closed to satisfied.

"I tried to be in the gym every day, but the coaches were telling me to take it easy-you know, don't work out every day, it's a long season, take it easy.

"But that's not in my nature. I had goals for myself."

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