For the player, coach, parent & lacrosse enthusiast in us • Grow The Game®

Brooks Sweet: “Player of the World”.

At the 1982 World Games, Brooks Sweet was the best player, and Vinnie Ricasio was lucky enough to coach with him for 3 years in Brooklyn, NY. TheArtOfLax talks about what makes Brooks so special, and why he was the subject of his first celeb drawing!

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.



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"

1 comment
Related Posts