Brian Cook: NBA, Retirement & Net Worth

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Brian Cook is a former American basketball player who has played for twelve seasons in National Basketball Association (NBA). 

Cook began his NBA journey after being drafted by Los Angeles Lakers with the 24th overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. He played for several NBA teams, including Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Prior NBA draft, Brian was already a college basketball star. The player is one of the most decorated players at the University of Illinois and was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016.

Former NBA player Brian Cook playing for the Lakers.
Former NBA player Brian Cook playing for the Lakers (Source: Los Angeles Sentinels)

Furthermore, Cook was a player who could play beyond the perimeter and was known as an NBA three-point specialist. Brian has also represented the USA in the 2001 FIBA U21 World Championship, where he led the team to win the gold medal.

Brian also played for the Lebanese Basketball League and the Japanese National Basketball League. He retired as a professional basketball player in 2015.

This article will discuss Brian Cook’s professional life, net worth, personal life, and everything you need to know about him.

Quick Facts

Full Name Brian Joshua Cook
Name Brian Cook
Nickname Brian
Date of Birth December 4, 1980
Age 43 years old
Birth Place Lincoln, Illinois, US
Nationality American
Ethnicity American- African
Zodiac Sign  Sagittarius
Height 6’9″ (2.06 m)
Weight 234 lb (106 kg)
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Brown
Father’s Name Norman Cook
Mother’s Name Joyce Cook
Siblings Two sisters: Kristina and Natasha Cook
High School Lincoln Community High School
University University of Illinois
Marital Status Married
Wife  Victoria Velasquez
Marriage Year 2009
Children Caius Cook (son)
Profession Former NBA Player
Position Power forward / Center
Leagues   National Basketball Association (NBA)
NBA Draft Selected 24th overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft
Debut Year  2003
Retirement 2015
Playing Teams
  • Los Angeles Lakers (2003–2007)
  • Orlando Magic (2007–2009)
  • Houston Rockets (2009–2010)
  • Los Angeles Clippers (2010–2012)
  • Washington Wizards (2012)
  • Piratas de Quebradillas (2013)
  • Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (2014)
  • Atlético Aguada (2015)
  • Chiba Jets (2015)
International Award
  • Gold at 2002 FIBA U21 World Championship 
Awards and achievements
  • Chicago Tribune’s Silver Basketball award (2003)
  • Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2000)
  • McDonald’s All-American (1999)
  • Illinois Mr. Basketball (1999)
Net Worth   $1-$5 million
Social Media Twitter 
Merch Trading Card
Last Update  May 2024

Brian Cook | Early Life and Education

Brian Joshua Cook was born on December 4, 1980, in Lincoln, Illinois, US. He is the son of Norman Cook (father) and Joyce Cook (mother).

His father was an All-American at the University of Kansas and briefly played for the Boston Celtics. Also, his uncle, Joe Cook, played basketball at Duke University.

Moreover, Cook also has two younger sisters, Kristina and Natasha Cook. Kristina is his biological sister, whereas Natasha is his half-sister from his mother’s other relationship.

Brian Cook’s Relationship with his Father, Norman Cook

Though Cook’s father was an inspiration for him to pursue basketball, Brian overcame the trauma of an abusive father.

His father, Norman was abusive to his mother and would beat her severely. Brian and his sister used to cover their mother while his father beat her. It was very traumatic for both of them as they were very young and had no idea how to react.

As a result, Brian developed a hatred toward his father from an early age. After her mother divorced his father, he never kept any contact with him.

In addition, Brian’s father got diagnosed with a mental illness, namely paranoid schizophrenia, and died on December 22, 2008, from an unknown cause at Lincoln Memorial Medical Center.

His mother raised him and his sisters on public aid and worked several jobs. Cook is very close to his mother and regards her as his best friend.

For education, Brian attended Lincoln Community High School and graduated from the University of Illinois. 

Age, Height & Weight

Brian Cook was born in 1980, making him 43 years old. People born in December are Sagittarius.

Furthermore, Brian was born in Lincoln, Illinois, US, and identifies himself as an American of African ethnicity. 

His mother, Joyce, is white, whereas his father, Norman, is black. Being of mixed ethnicity, Brian had to face racism when he was young.

But, he used to handle it maturely. Whenever anyone puts him down for being black, he would tell them he is half their color as well.

Also, Cook is 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) tall and weighs around 234 lb (106 kg).

Brian Cook | Early Career

Cook attended Lincoln Community High School and played for the school basketball team, Railsplitters. He led the team to the 1999 Illinois High School Association Class AA state boys basketball championship quarterfinals.

As a result, he was honored a McDonald’s All-American in 1999 and was chosen to the 1998 State Farm Holiday Classic all-tournament team.

Furthermore, he was also awarded the title of 1999 Illinois Mr. Basketball. Cook was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association in 2016. 

Young Brian Cook playing for University of Illinois (Source Herald and review)
Young Brian Cook playing for the University of Illinois (Source: Herald and review)

After a stellar high school career, Cook played for the college basketball team at the University of Illinois.

Also, Cook was a skilled scorer who could easily hit three-point shots. Thus, he was named co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Furthermore, he was awarded multiple titles and honors, including Big Ten Conference’s Most Valuable Player, Big Ten Player of the Year, and first-team All-Big Ten.

Additionally, Cook graduated as the third all-time highest scorer at Illinois, with 1,748 total points and an average of 13.2 points per game.

In 2008, Cook’s jersey was one of the thirty-three honored jerseys at the State Farm Center. He was honored for being the most decorated basketball player in the history of the University of Illinois.

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Brian Cook | Professional Career

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Brian Cook with the 24th overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Initially, Brian played as a backup player and had minimal playing time.

But, as his professional career progressed, he established himself as a player who could play beyond the perimeter.

Cook was mainly deployed as a three-point specialist. The athlete saw an increase in playing time, and people started to acknowledge his skills.

Brian Cook playing for the Lakers.
Brian Cook playing for the Lakers (Source: My autograph events)

But unfortunately, he was dealt with the Orlando Magic on November 20, 2007. He played for two seasons with the Magic before moving to Houston Rockets.

He then played with several other NBA teams, including Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, and Utah Jazz.

Also, Cook briefly played for the Lebanese Basketball League and Japanese National Basketball League before retiring as a basketball player in 2015.

Brian Cook | International Career

Cook also represented the USA at the 2001 FIBA U21 World Championship. He was one of the key members of the USA team who won the gold medal.

The Championship was held in Saitama, Japan, and USA team had a final match with Croatia. Brian led the team to win over Croatia with a score of 89-80.

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Awards and Achievements

  • BSN champion (2013)
  • Elected to the “Illini Men’s Basketball All-Century Team” (2004)
  • Second-team All-American (2003)
  • Third-team All-American (2003)
  • Chicago Tribune’s Silver Basketball award (2003)
  • Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year (2003)
  • Preseason Wooden Award Nominee (2003)
  • Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year (2000)
  • McDonald’s All-American (1999)
  • Illinois Mr. Basketball (1999)
  • Second-team Parade All-American (1999)

Brian Cook | Wife and Children

Cook is married to his long-time girlfriend, Victoria Velasquez. The couple married on July 4, 2009.

Though not much information about them is available on how they met and fell in love. But, it is known that Cook loves his wife so much that he even gave up his career for her.

Brian Cook with his wife in their wedding
Brian Cook with his wife Victoria Velasquez at their wedding (Source: People)

Cook’s wife, Victoria, had cancer, and she needed a lot of care and support. Thus, Cook retired from his NBA career to stay beside his wife, who was battling cancer. Fortunately, her wife beat cancer and now is cancer-free.

Furthermore, he has a son named Caius Cook. Unfortunately, not much about him is known.

Social Media Presence 

Brian Cook has verified a Twitter account with thousands of followers. He does not have other social media apart from it.

You can follow him on his Twitter to get connected with him.

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Net Worth and Salary

The net worth of Brian Cook is estimated to be anywhere between $1 million to $5 million. Cook earned his net worth from his primary profession as an NBA player.

The athlete signed a rookie deal with the Los Angeles Lakers for $903,360. Then he signed a contract with the Orlando Magic for $3,500,000 and Houston Rockets for $3,500,000.

Thus, Cook earned millions of dollars being an NBA player playing for different teams. 


What are the overall NBA statistics for Brian Cook?

Brian Cook played 421 games in his NBA career with an average of 2.6 rebounds, 0.3 steals, 0.6 assists, 0.3 blocks, and 5.5 points per game.

Overall, he has scored 2,312 points, 1,115 rebounds, and 252 assists.

Has Brian Cook played in the BIG3 basketball league?

Yes, Cook has played in the BIG3 basketball league as a Killer 3’s team member. The Big 3 basketball league is the 3v3 league created by Ice Cube.

He was drafted in the 2017 draft and was on the team, which consisted of Reggie Evans, Larry Hughes, and Eddie Robinson.

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