Swapping A Basketball For A Badge: Former Zag Becomes Spokane Po - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Swapping A Basketball For A Badge: Former Zag Becomes Spokane Police Officer

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Former Gonzaga basketball player Winston Brooks was sworn in by Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub on Tuesday Former Gonzaga basketball player Winston Brooks was sworn in by Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub on Tuesday

Winston Brooks is used to wearing a uniform, but his used to be marked #1. As a former Gonzaga great from 2001-2003, he is still often recognized around the Lilac City for what he did on the court. But now, he's starting a new game as a Spokane Police Officer.

Police work really isn't new at all for Brooks who served as a patrol officer with Coeur D'Alene Police for four years and worked as a Spokane County juvenile corrections officer for two years prior to that.

But now, coming back to the city that gave him so much – both on and off the court – Brooks wouldn't trade his badge for anything.

"I can't even describe in words how the Gonzaga community has treated me since I've been here, it's been nothing but positive so I thought I'd come back and try to help," Brooks told KHQ's Kelsey Watts moments after he was sworn-in.

Brooks is one of five new SPD officers sworn-in at Tuesday's ceremony by Chief Frank Straub, who used the basketball star's legacy for a little levity.

"The good thing about Winston is how he's so humble and modest, he talks about every game he played in college, how many points he scored," Chief Straub told the crowd, referring to a letter said to be written by Brooks. "But I may skip a couple - people have to go back to work, you know."

"He's a good chief, but he's a bad comedian," Brooks joked back.

Tuesday, Brooks was surrounded by his wife, mother, three brothers and his other "family" from Gonzaga. Basketball Hall of Famer John Stockton was there to congratulate Brooks as well as Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth.

"We're so proud of him and we're so blessed to have him as both part of Gonzaga and now the greater Spokane community," Roth told KHQ's Kelsey Watts. "He was part of our early success, he got to play in one of the greatest games in NCAA tournament history."

Brooks was a Bulldog point guard from 2001-2003, but his legacy is still fresh.

"I can't even describe in words how the Gonzaga community has treated me since I've been here, it's been nothing but positive so I thought I'd come back and try to help," Brooks told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

"[My friends say], ‘Your brother is Winston Brooks?' Yeah, I tell everybody that. They just go crazy they looked up to him so much," Brooks' brother Jesse added.

"It's a wonderful feeling right now, I just can't wait to see him actually on the force," Brooks' mother Charlene added. "I just hope he doesn't pull me over."

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