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Memphis Grizzlies

Is Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks a future All-Star? Raptors legend Jerome 'Junk Yard Dog' Williams thinks so

Dillon Brooks is in the midst of his breakout year in the NBA.

After coming on the scene strong in his rookie season, injuries delayed his progress in his sophomore season, but in season three, the 24-year-old Mississauga native is turning into one of the Memphis Grizzlies' cornerstone players.

So much so that the Grizzlies didn't wait until the offseason to reward Brooks with a new deal - they signed him to a three-year, $35 million extension at the beginning of February.

It was a goal of his when the season started, Brooks told NBA.com back in November.

His former head coach at Findlay Prep, Jerome "Junk Yard Dog" Williams couldn't have been happier for Brooks and what he's accomplished so far in his NBA career.

"Dillon is a tremendous player," Williams told NBA.com. "He was one of those guys who was still working on his game and we had McDonald's All-Americans there.

"Rashad Vaughn, Kelly Oubre ... and I told Dillon that I called the scouts and they said his game reminded them of Dwayne Wade. From that moment on he started just being a different player."

Williams coached Brooks for his lone season at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada - a town just 20 minutes outside of Las Vegas. The team went 31-5 and was littered with high major talent, including two other Canadians in Justin Jackson and Oshae Brissett.

Williams remembers challenging Brooks to be a primary scorer, going up against one of the most talented starting units in the country at the time.

"What we used to do, the starting five was Kelly Oubre, Jonah Bolden, Rashad Vaughn, Derryck Thornton, Craig Victor - and then it was me, Dillon, the other guys going up against that crew every day," Williams said smiling.

"What I told Dillon was really it's just me and you so what you have to do is be my scorer. Every time you touch it we running pick-and-roll, I want you going downhill - and you know we used to beat that team.

"They used to get mad and they used to wonder how are these guys able to beat us because they were so competitive. It was just because - you know ... I had Dillon.

"Dillon and the Dog Pound, it's just unstoppable, that's just what it was. So those guys just had to eat it and take it home and go sleep on it. Come back and try the next day."

Brooks would reclassify and leave Findlay Prep a year earlier than scheduled, heading to Oregon where he completed a stellar college career raking up career highlights such as consensus second-team All-American and Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2017.

He was selected in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets and traded to the Grizzlies the same day. Now three years into his NBA career, on his second contract, the sky is the limit for Brooks according to his former high school coach.

"All-Star! There is no ceiling. That's an All-Star right there," Williams exclaimed.

"You're looking at a future All-Star. He's gonna be there for sure."

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its clubs.

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