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Brooks Sweet: “Player of the World”.

1 - Published February 23, 2012 by in Art, Inspiration, Lacrosse, Networking

Just recently I was sorting and cleaning up my studio space to make way for the new projects this business year.  The stacks and piles of concept sketches, first attempts and a few random pieces were spread all over the studio-drafting table.  In one storage box designated to contain oversized pieces, I found a signed, 11×15 sized print from, Brooks Sweet—Player of the World.

Brooks Sweet. Head Coach at The Poly Prep School-Brooklyn, NY

Brooks Sweet at UMass

The former stand-out from UMass was heralded as one of the greats in the game of lacrosse.  A member of Team USA on the 1982 Championship squad, Brooks was pretty much a “one-man-wrecking-crew” scoring something like 7 goals in the title game against Australia.  The crafty attackman from Ithaca, NY earned the title “Player of the World” afterwards.

Brooks Sweet (front row, #9) with the 1982 Championship Team USA

Coaching is Teaching and Teaching is Coaching.

I also had the chance to be his assistant coach for 3 years at the Poly Prep School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn after he changed careers from being a sales-executive for STX.  He was/is an intense, more like passionate, individual – always challenging the kids in their personal developments, both on and off the field.  I don’t think I ever learned more about this game from anyone other than Brooks. There were a few times we “suited” up after practice and played pick-up lax with some “older guys”.  The man still had it!  He was very sneaky — more like smart.  One mistake, and you (the defenseman) were toast, but he made it a habit to teach you what went wrong.  He taught you how to rectify it for the next time around.  He burned me a few times in the cage and any saves (if any) that I got on him, was an excitement to yell about.

Coaching with Brooks at Poly Prep

Hanging with Brooks Sweet.

In 2008, when I started The Art of Lax™, I wanted to do a “celebrity piece” of somebody, more like anybody, in the lacrosse world.  I didn’t have accounts on Twitter and Facebook, back then, so I talked to the most direct person I knew – Brooks.

Some of the best parts were doing a piece that had “retro” equipment instead of the present day equipment.  The end result was to be titled, “Brooks Sweet—Player of the World”.  I made a few reproductions, giving him one and my asking him to autograph a print for me.

Brooks Sweet-Player of the World, signed by Brooksy himself

“Keep stopping them!” was what Brooks wrote on my piece.

“Keep teaching them”… is what Brooks definitely does best.

 

Extra:

Brooks at the 1982 World Games of Lacrosse:

Brooks going against Australia--those were some SHORT, shorts!

Brooks being interviewed by Lief Elsmo

Brooks at the awards ceremony getting the title "Player of the World"

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