BELTON, Texas- This past March, Payton Brooks was on the bench for No. 14 seed Abilene Christian’s monumental 53-52 upset of No. 3 seed Texas in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. This coming fall, he will be stepping up for the UMHB men’s basketball team, as the guard announced his decision to transfer from ACU and join the Cru on Friday afternoon.
Brooks is a huge addition to UMHB’s incoming ten-man recruiting class, and the third transfer to date. According to VerbalCommits.com, the native of Wylie, Texas put his name into the transfer portal on March 6, though he logged one minute in Abilene Christian’s second-round 67-47 loss to UCLA.
He is also believed to be the first Div. I player to transfer to UMHB directly from the Div. I ranks in over five years. Brian Long and Devyn Brewton spent time at a Div. I program prior to transferring to UMHB but nether transferred directly from that Div. I school.
In one year at Abilene Christian, the former two-star recruit played just 40 minutes, scoring a total of two points in 16 games. Brooks’ lone made shot during his freshman year came against Howard Payne, an ASC rival of UMHB. He tallied his only rebound on the year against Southeastern Louisiana.
Beyond the stats, Brooks appears to be an immediate starter for the Cru at the shooting guard position. At 6’2, 193 lb, he has the size to dominate at the Div. III level, and a look at his high school film reveals a shooter with excellent range from beyond the arc. His shooting mechanics are fine-tuned, and his ability to create space to put up good shots is something special. He also looks confident in transition with great ball-handling skills and footwork that allows him to get to the rim and past defenders.
At the high school level, Brooks was twice named Wylie High School’s Offensive MVP and led the Bulldogs to a victory in the regional semifinal during the 2017-18 season.