During his time at Auburn High, Garrison Brooks made highlight reel-worthy plays game after game. Even though Brooks is now part of one of college basketball’s most-storied programs, he has continued to turn heads with his play.

Brooks was named the ACC’s Most Improved Player on Monday, the league office announced. The award comes toward the end of Brooks’ junior season at North Carolina during which he has averaged 16.4 points – second on the team behind Cole Anthony – and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Brooks was also named to the Second Team All-ACC squad.

Brooks’ emergence as a true scoring threat has been a noticeable step forward from his sophomore season, during which he averaged 7.9 points per game while starting all 36 games for the Tar Heels.

Brooks came to Chapel Hill after a stellar high school career at Auburn. The LaFayette native truly came into his own as a senior in 2016-2017 while averaging 14 points and just over nine rebounds per game. His efforts were crucial for an Auburn team that reached the Class 7A state championship game.

“I feel like (playing at Auburn) was one of the bigger pieces of my life,” Brooks told the O-A News last March. “I made a lot of friends that I still have to this day there. I learned how to work and how to self-police — how to be hard on myself, be tough on myself and always expect better of myself.

“That's where I really learned that playing with your friends is where some of the best things and best memories come from.”

Brooks was a four-star recruit in high school and initially signed with Mississippi State where his father, George Brooks, is an assistant coach. However, Brooks ultimately changed his mind and chose North Carolina.

Brooks and the Tar Heels return to action at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Virginia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

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