Taking Back Our Neighborhood: High school wrestler

By Joe Birch - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A recent graduate of Oakhaven High School is living his dream of becoming a wrestler while also helping his peers settle their disputes peacefully.

At 125 pounds, 17-year-old Lamarrus Brooks may not look like a wrestler.

"I always tell them being 125, one of my famous saying is they're just mad because I got a million dollar body," Brooks said.

Brooks learned his moves in a strip mall along Stateline Road in Southaven.

"I went on with my dream and I always wanted to be a wrestler," Brooks said.  "Every true wrestling fan wants to be a wrestler."

Teachers like Kevin Parks, also known as Malik the Great, train youngsters in the art of the take down, as well as staying on the straight and narrow path.

"It actually occupies their time," Parks said.  "Plus, by them being so bruised up, like in training and pain, they don't have time to do anything."

In a match on May 21, Brooks and his tag team partner, 330 pound Samoan Raja, suffered a defeat at the hands of the Magnificent Reno Diamond.  During intermissions and at school assemblies, Brooks used his love of wrestling to reach out to his peers and encouraged them to follow their dreams.

"We can do anything," Brooks said.  "We can be police officers, firefighters, lawyers, judges.  All we've got to do is have somebody help us out and be there for us.  We need mentors.  That's all we need, somebody to listen to and set a positive example."

Parks said teens find Brooks inspiring.

"Younger teens who are around his age, he can relate to them more," Parks said.  "This guy can do it?  I can do it as well."

The Independent Wrestling Association will bring its matches to the Greater Hope Life Center at 2690 Spottswood on Friday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m.

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