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Brian Joshua Cook (born December 4, 1980, in Lincoln, Illinoismarker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player. He plays power forward for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. Cook was drafted out of the University of Illinoismarker with the 24th pick of the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the son of Norm Cook, an All-American for the Kansas Jayhawks and played briefly for the Boston Celtics, and the nephew of Joe Cook, who played basketball for Duke Universitymarker from 1988-1990.

University of Illinois

Cook played high school basketball at Lincoln High School in central Illinois. He led his high school team, the Lincoln Community High School Railsplitters, to the quarterfinals of the Illinois High School Association class AA state boys basketball tournament. He was selected to the 1998 State Farm Holiday Classic all-tournament team.

He was recruited by Lon Kruger to play center for the Illinois Fighting Illini, making him the third consecutive Illinois Mr. Basketball to sign with Illinois, following the lead of Sergio McClain (1997) and Frank Williams (1998).

Cook ultimately played 132 games in four years at the University of Illinois, most of them under coach Bill Self, and led the Illini in rebounding in each season. Although a 6'10" center, Cook was a versitle scorer from both inside and outside the paint, utilizing his height to score in the post and hitting three-point shots when left open. This helped him to earn co Big Ten Freshman of the year honors during his first year at Illinois. As a senior in the 2002-03 season, Cook led the Fighting Illini in scoring with 20.0 points per game, and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Basketball as the Most Valuable Player of the Big Ten Conference. That same season, Cook was named Second-Team All-American by The Sporting News, and Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and The Basketball Times, as well as Big Ten Player of the Year and First-Team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media.

Cook helped lead the Illini to a number one seed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, and the Illini cruised to the Elite 8, where they were upset in a hard fought and controversial game by Cook's future teammate Luke Walton and the Arizona Wildcats. Cook was projected to be a top 10 draft pick in the NBA Draft, but ultimately slipped to the L.A. Lakers 24th pick. Cook left Illinois as the school's third all-time leading scorer with 1748 total points, at an average of 13.2 points per game, behind Deon Thomas and Kiwane Garris.

Professional basketball

Cook played sparingly in his rookie campaign as a backup to superstar center Shaquille O'Neal, and mostly was an interior player, notching only five three-point attempts out of 141 total field goal attempts. As his professional career evolved, however, Cook once again became a player who could play beyond the perimeter, after Shaq moved on to the Miami Heat and Rudy Tomjanovich took over for Phil Jackson as Lakers' head coach. He was mainly used as a three-point specialist; 199 of 422 (or 47.2%) of Cook's field goal attempts were from behind the three-point arc. When Phil Jackson returned to coach the Lakers in 2005-06, Cook shot from the perimeter less often, which has resulted in Cook improving his overall field-goal percentage from .417 in 2004-05 to .520 in 2005-06, and has also resulted in an improvement in his three-point field-goal percentage, from .392 in 2004-05 to .441 in 2005-06. His improved play kept Cook on the court more as his minutes played per game rose from 15.1 in 2004-05 to 19.4 in 2005-06.

On November 20, 2007, he along with teammate Maurice Evans were traded to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Trevor Ariza.

On February 19, 2009, Cook was traded to the Houston Rockets in a 3-team trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic. In Houston, Cook temporarily joined fellow Illini Alumni Luther Head, prior to his being dealt to the Miami Heat.

Personal

Cook has been nicknamed "Cookie Monster".

Cook married his long-time girlfriend, Victoria Velasquez, on July 4, 2009.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

2003–04
L.A. Lakers
35 2 12.6 .475 .000 .750 2.9 .6 .5 .5 4.4
2004–05
L.A. Lakers
72 0 15.1 .417 .392 .757 3.0 .5 .3 .4 6.4
2005–06
L.A. Lakers
81 46 19.0 .511 .429 .832 3.4 .9 .5 .4 7.9
2006–07
L.A. Lakers
65 24 15.7 .453 .400 .723 3.3 1.0 .4 .4 6.9
2007–08
L.A. Lakers
6 2 11.7 .190 .200 1.000 1.7 .5 .3 .0 2.3
2007–08
Orlando
45 0 12.4 .394 .390 .882 2.2 .5 .2 .3 5.0
2008–09
Orlando
21 0 7.0 .383 .440 .833 1.3 .2 .1 .0 3.0
2008–09
Houston
9 0 2.8 .313 .400 .000 .6 .1 .0 .3 1.3
Career
334 74 14.6 .449 .394 .796 2.8 .7 .3 .3 6.0

Playoffs

2003–04
L.A. Lakers
13 0 3.5 .333 .000 1.000 .9 .1 .1 .0 .9
2005–06
L.A. Lakers
7 0 11.1 .391 .364 1.000 3.1 1.1 .1 .0 6.3
2006–07
L.A. Lakers
5 0 10.2 .333 .429 1.000 1.2 .0 .0 .2 3.6
2008–09
Houston
6 0 5.3 .267 .222 .000 2.0 .5 .3 .2 1.7
Career
31 0 6.7 .351 .333 1.000 1.7 .4 .1 .1 2.7

Notes

  1. IHSA's March Madness - 1999 Class AA Boys
  2. Magic Acquire Brian Cook and Maurice Evans From L.A. Lakers Retrieved 2007-11-20
  3. NBA Basketball Glog - CBSSports.com


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