Forest Park grad Brock cleared to play for Oakland this season
Army veteran of Kuwait, Afghanistan had been held back by poor grades
Oakland men’s basketball player Isaiah Brock, a Baltimore-born Army veteran who had been deemed ineligible this season because of poor high school grades, was cleared to play by the NCAA on Monday.
Oakland appealed the NCAA’s ruling Thursday, which was based on Brock’s academic profile when he graduated from Forest Park in 2011, and added a letter of support from Rep. Mike Bishop of Michigan, according to The Detroit News.
Brock, 22, a 6-foot-8 forward who was closer to 6 feet in high school, spent four years in the Army after leaving Baltimore. He served as a mortuary affairs specialist during his six-month deployments in Afghanistan and Kuwait, retrieving the bodies of fallen soldiers from the battle- field and preparing them for burial.
Brock met Golden Grizzlies coach Greg Kampe during the Troops First Foundation’s Hardwood Classic in Kuwait, and Kampe, taken with Brock’s life story and intrigued by his athleticism, offered an athletic scholarship.
Brock earned an A and a B in University of Maryland University College online classes while serving in Afghanistan, and after enrolling at Oakland this summer, he got two B’s. The NCAA had allowed Brock to practice with the team, but because of his years-old grades, he was told he would have to sit out this season.
According to The Detroit News, he wrote the NCAA three letters pleading his case over the summer. On Monday, he got the news he was hoping for.
“I just want to thank the NCAA for giving me the opportunity to play this year and I also want to thank all of my teammates, family and friends for all of their support through this process,” Brock said in a news release. “I’m very grateful and I won’t let this opportunity go to waste!”
Brennan Ireland (Annapolis) and Penn State will face Akron tonight