Sons following in their dad’s footsteps


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Prep sceneCourtney Brown is living a father’s dream. The former St. Paul Highland Park boys’ basketball standout finds that his sons are following his lead.

Fourteen-year-old Courtney Brown Jr., a 6’-6” forward, is a rising sophomore who played for East Ridge High School. Kendall Brown, 13, is a 6’-2” eighth grader at Cottage Grove Middle School showing unlimited potential as a point guard.

During the summer both play for the Howard Pulley Panthers, one of the top AAU basketball programs in the nation, and they now find themselves in a position to succeed like their father.

“There are a lot more opportunities for them than when I played,” said the elder Brown, who was a star for Highland Park in the late 1980s. “They have an opportunity to accomplish more than I did.”

Though his sons smile when their father’s basketball accomplishments come up in conversation, reflecting on them indicates that there is a legacy.

Courtney Brown Sr. graduated in 1988 after an all-conference season at Highland Park. He played at Missouri Valley College during the 1988-89 season, attended Barber Scotia College from 1989-90 before transferring to Southwest State University to finish out his collegiate career playing from 1990-93.

Courtney Brown Sr.’s accomplishments in college propelled him to a professional basketball career as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters from 1990-94 and teams from South America, Switzerland and England from 1995-98.

Courtney Brown Jr.’s outstanding play at a young age has him already listed as one of the state’s top prospects for the Class of 2019.

He averaged 10 points per game coming off the bench for East Ridge last season, and his play for Pulley’s 16 EYBL team coached by Michael Walker was such that he was moved up to the 17 EYBL team coached by Antwan Harris.

“Pulley has been real good for me,” Brown Jr. said. “It has really helped me in preparing for this season. I really enjoyed my experience.”

Kendall Brown played for Pulley’s 14U team coached by Percy Wade. “I love the competition,” he said. “I’ve always loved the game.”

Both brothers began playing at an early age. Courtney Brown Jr. stated that he has been playing since first grade, while Kendall Brown added that he started in third grade.

“You might say basketball runs in our family,” Courntey Brown Sr. said smiling.

For now the brothers are reflecting on their summer, getting ready for school, and setting goals while acknowledging that there’s room for improvement.

“I want to improve my rebounding and defense,” Courtney Brown Jr. said. “I also want to provide more leadership.”

“I hope to improve my shot, defense, speed and ball handling,” added Kendall Brown.

“The ultimate goal is for them to earn a college degree,” emphasized Courntey Brown Sr., who earned a degree from Metro State University in 2014 and today works as a behavior intervention specialist at Ramsey Middle School in St. Paul. “It’s about getting that degree.”

Concerning his sons’ basketball aspirations, he thinks their potential is unlimited. “They are much better than I was at their age,” he said. “They are 10 times better.”

 

Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to mmcdonald@spokesman-recorder.com.

 

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