Aaron Brooks is well on his way to realizing his goal of winning four NCAA titles. The 22-year-old secured his third straight national title over the weekend, wrestling in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Penn State University's Nittany Lions in the NCAA championship wrestling finals.
Despite his success and athletic excellence, Brooks underscored in a post-match interview that he is under no illusions about what and who really matter.
"It’s all God," he told ESPN. "It's all for His glory."
The Herald-Mail reported that Aaron Brooks first publicly expressed his intention to "win four NCAA titles" on Feb. 1, 2018.
In order to become the sixth three-time NCAA champion in Penn State's history, Brooks first had to win Saturday by a 13-4 decision in round one against Matthew Waddell of Chattanooga; win by forfeit in round two against Will Feldkamp of Clarion; win by a 4-1 decision in the quarter-final against Kaleb Romero of Ohio State; and win by a 6-3 decision in the semi-final against Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State.
With former President Donald Trump looking on, Brooks ultimately scored two takedowns in a 7-2 decision over Northern Iowa's Parker Keckeisen in the finals, going 5-0 in Tulsa and ending the season with a 17-1 record — a 67-3 record overall.
In a post-match interview with ESPN, Brooks was asked whether his strong faith helped him "on a night like tonight."
"It's everything," said the Big Ten champion. "Christ’s resurrection is everything. Not just His life, but His death and resurrection. You can only get that through Him, the Holy Spirit, only through Him — no false prophets, no Mohammad, no anyone else — only Jesus Christ Himself."
Visibly taken aback by the young man's confident declaration of faith, the reporter attempted to change the subject from theology to technique, saying, "Power and finesse: Your calling card."
Before the reporter could formulate a question, Brooks interjected, saying, "The Holy Spirit. ... Acts, chapter 1, verse 8."
The Scriptural passage the champion referred to concerns power: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (King James Version).
"Power: Holy Spirit power," continued Brooks. "That's everything. That's where it's from."
The reporter asked, "Where did the finesse come from?"
Brooks smiled and answered, "Holy Spirit as well."
"And Mom and Dad, maybe?" said the reporter.
"A little bit of both, but all God," said Brooks.
Brooks indicated that the purpose of his win on Saturday was to share his beliefs and execute God's will: "He gives me this platform for this right here, to exalt Him. That’s all it’s for. When I’m suffering, cutting weight, away from my family, it’s all for Him. It’s all for His glory.”
In a post title chat with Penn State Athletics, Brooks said that wherever God calls him to go, "I'm ready to go."
He noted that ahead of the tournament, he was reading 2 Timothy 2:3, which says, "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."
"Endure, endure, endure as a good soldier," Brooks emphasized.
Brooks reportedly has one year of NCAA eligibility remaining.
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