He’s a talented young man who has earned the opportunity to be in Hollywood for a while, but his true calling seems to be finding a way to get back to North Carolina, where he was raised.
Ahead of his season-ending surgery today, the two-time All-Region selection is taking a few minutes outside the hospital to reflect and reflect on some of the things that have shaped his life, beginning with his childhood in North Carolina and the people there.
“It’s been one of the most unbelievable things,” Brown said. “When I grew up I was always on the football team at Chapel Hill High School.”
Brown was named as the No. 1 overall pick in 2003 by the Charlotte Hornets and stayed until 2011. He played at Wake Forest for four years before a three-year stint in the NBA gave him the chance to go back and play again.
“I came back to Carolina just last year because I really wanted to play again,” Brown said. “It was the right decision.”
Brown then returned to Chapel Hill again, but a chance to try out for the Knicks in summer 2012 and earn the chance to go back home to North Carolina in January 2013 never happened. Instead, he had to go to the Knicks’ summer league in Las Vegas to get that chance, and now, it seems, he’s finally going to get it.
Brown said he is excited for the opportunity to play with the Knicks and will get to experience the game for the first time. But he understands, as he did when he was back in North Carolina, there are sacrifices.
“You have to have that balance where you can be competitive in basketball and still have the right life,” Brown said. “That’s my biggest thing: playing my best sport and spending time with my family.
“I’m just excited to get on the floor. I’m excited to be up there with my teammates.”
Brown was able to work his way into the rotation as a sophomore and then in his junior season he hit the ground running as he led the Tar Heels to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Now he will get to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis, who he played with at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
“It’s a dream come true,” Brown said. “I’m super excited and super happy for my family.”
In addition to Porzingis, who is also a native of North Carolina and has become a staple
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