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MANTECA, CA - Long before he was coaching the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, Scott Brooks was like a coach at East Union High School in Manteca.

"Scott didn't mess around too often. He was serious about basketball and doing the right thing," said former teammate Rick Inderbitzin.

Brooks was part of a team in 1983 that finished second in the high school section tournament. Nearly 30 years later, his work ethic is still proving successful.

"He was a gym rat and that's the expectation for his team. Put the time in, work hard and push yourself to the max," said Inderbitzin.

From East Union in Manteca, Brooks went on to play for three colleges, and then a half dozen NBA teams. His statistics as a pro weren't overwhelming, but he had a 10-year career before starting his coaching career.

He took over the Thunder in 2008 and now is three wins from an NBA championship. Brooks also won as a player with Houston in 1994.

bytdaly@news10.net

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