Name: Karekin "KK" Brooks
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
Activities: Football co–captain
34th Street: What inspired you to begin playing football when you were younger?
I definitely was inspired to start playing football by my family, like my grandparents, my parents, and my brother. My grandpa grew up playing football and so did my dad. I have five brothers and they also all played football. So basically, I grew up around the game and because of that I enjoyed watching it a lot. My family was a large part of the reason I began playing in the first place. I grew up watching football with them and that’s how I originally fell in love with it.
Street: What meaningful experiences has football brought you at Penn?
At Penn, there’s a big football network. I’ve gotten to meet so many different people and do so many amazing things with football. Like, I’ve gone to the ESPN headquarters in Connecticut, which was pretty cool. My most meaningful experience through football was probably our team trip to China. We had a game against the Chinese All–Star team, so we flew to China to play them. But before the game, the Chinese All–Star football team asked us if we could teach a camp of six to 12–year–old kids play some football. All we did was talk to them and run them through a few drills because China was just beginning to pick up the game of football. But I thought it was so cool that our football team was selected to teach other kids that were trying to learn and understand the game. It reminded me of when I was younger and just starting to play football and going to my first football games, so it was really fun to help out in the camp. If I had to choose my favorite moment actually playing football, it would definitely be our home game against Harvard my freshman year at Penn. That was my first big moment, big game, playing at Penn and it was even streamed on ESPN later.
Street: As captain of the football team at Penn, how do you lead the team?
I just tell myself and my teammates that football is a game and we should have fun playing it. It’s not about anything else. I also lead by example. I think that I set a good example for younger players by showing them what they should and should not be doing on and off the field. I show them how hard they should be working at improving themselves.
Street: What do you like the most about playing football?
My favorite thing about football is simple: just going out there onto the field with my boys and scoring touchdowns. It honestly can’t get better than that. About playing at Penn, I just think it’s super cool that I get to play with a bunch of different guys from all over the world. It’s so different from high school, when I would play with the guys that I grew up with, so we were all very similar. But here, you’re forced to basically build new relationships with everybody—a bunch of different kinds of people, which I think is different but definitely meaningful.
Street: What was your biggest hardship adjusting to Penn?
I would say being away from home. My family has always been such a big part of my life, so that was one of the hardest things I had to adjust to when I got here. I definitely also chose to come to Penn so that I would be further away from where I grew up and so that I could get away from all of that, but I still had a difficult time once I got here.
Street: Why did you decide to major in communications?
I took my first communications class with Dr. Amy Jordan, and I took some other communications classes throughout the years that introduced me to some really good teachers and classes and made me realize what I wanted to major in. I chose communications just because I feel like the material that I learn about in my communications classes especially is very interesting and more relevant than other classes.
Street: What do you plan on doing after graduation?
All I know as of right now is that I definitely want to play football. In the future, I want to get into TV production. I feel like being a part of the production industry is so cool and inspiring and I really think I could fit well and work well in that industry. I also really want to become a producer one day.
Street: Favorite class you’ve taken at Penn?
Street: What kind of music do you listen to?
Mostly hip–hop, but honestly, I listen to all kinds of music. Like, right now, I even have country music on my phone.
Street: Favorite NFL team?
I don’t really have a favorite NFL team, but since I’m from Georgia, I’ll say the Falcons.
Street: Favorite TV show?
Game of Thrones.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn…
Those who do and those who don’t. Meaning there are people who take advantage of resources and opportunities and those who don’t.