Brown Bringing Big-Time Skills to NBA

By McGraw, Mike | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 21, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Brown Bringing Big-Time Skills to NBA

McGraw, Mike, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)

Byline: Mike McGraw Daily Herald Sports Writer

Kwame Brown could hardly believe someone who grew up in Brunswick, Ga., could jump straight to the NBA.

Brown's hometown is relatively isolated. It sits next to the Atlantic Ocean, halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, and is best known as a golf resort.

"Me being from a small town, I never really felt to myself I was good enough," Brown said. "These guys from the big cities get to do all these workouts. I sit at home, lay around and play Nintendo. Then I go play in a tournament and I thought, 'These guys, they have the edge on me. I'm not good enough to play at this level.' Then I go out and compete on the same level, if not better."

When NBA scouts watched Brown, they could hardly believe what they were seeing. A 6-foot-11 player who could dribble, run the floor and shoot from the outside wasn't especially novel.

But Brown did all that with a muscular, 243-pound frame. He could be described as a cross between Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal, with the body of Antonio McDyess.

"He's athletic, and he's skilled," said Gary Brokaw, Orlando Magic director of player personnel. "I've seen him score inside. I've seen him face up and score outside. I've seen him make passes. He's worked on his body so much."

On top of all that, Brown is an excellent student. When it comes to giving thoughtful and articulate interviews, Brown can more than hold his own with Duke brainiac Shane Battier. Brown delayed his individual workouts for NBA teams so he could concentrate on finishing high school.

There is little doubt that Brown will be chosen among the top four picks in the June 27 NBA draft. He probably will be gone by the time the Bulls choose fourth.

Throughout his senior year in high school, Brown insisted he would honor his commitment to play at the University of Florida. But when his stock continued to skyrocket, Brown finally decided to turn pro on the night he attended his high school prom.

"I did it for my mom (Joyce)," said Brown, second youngest of eight children.

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