The best that could be said of Brian Cook's early childhood is it is over. The worst is he still can recall it.
They say a person is shaped by the experiences of life, and living with Norm Cook was an experience impossible to forget.
In many ways, the boy is a mirror reflection of the father. Tall, slender and athletic. There is something too in the eyes and the curves of the mouth.
They have seen the world from nearly the same vantage point at practically the same time in their lives. A generation ago, Norm Cook led Kansas out of the Midwest Region and into the Final Four. Today, Brian Cook hopes to lead Illinois past his father's old school, again in the Midwest Region.
Yet mirrors have a way of distorting reality, and so it is here. The son is not a replica of the father, merely a familiar image. Stare long enough, and the resemblance begins to fade.