Five Things to Know: JORDAN BROWN
Standing at 6-foot-10 with a wingspan nearly as long as a pickup truck, it’s not easy to miss Jordan Brown (Prolific Prep./Roseville, Calif.). It’s not easy to shoot over that length, either, and he’s going to bring all of the best parts of his game to the 21stannual Nike Hoop Summit on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
The highly coveted prospect spoke with USAB.com about his selection to the 2018 USA Men’s Junior National Select Team.
Brown’s rise to stardom didn’t start at prep school (and it won’t end there). It actually started at a public high school, which only makes Brown’s story more impressive.
California’s Interscholastic Federation realigned basketball divisions in 2013, creating the Open Division to, in effect, place the powerhouse private schools into an elite eight-team division. Other divisions, then, would provide a better chance for public high schools to compete.
Then Jordan Brown came along.
He averaged 22.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a freshman in 2014-15 as Woodcreek High School finished with a 27-6 record and advanced to the CIF NorCal Division I championship game. Those numbers jumped to 26.7 ppg. and 15.0 rpg. his sophomore season.
But, his junior year was one to remember. Brown scored 35 points and yanked down 17 rebounds in the title game to lead Woodcreek to the 2017 CIF NorCal Open Division championship. He averaged 26.3 ppg. and 15.8 rpg. on the season.
And then came prep school – Prolific Prep in Napa, California.
“I had to be honest with myself, and I didn’t feel the competition level there was as high as I wanted to be playing at,” said Brown.
“I knew that on the prep level, there is a lot of Division I talent already, so me making that switch, I thought it was a step toward helping my game in the future.”
Playing a combination of center and power forward positions this season, Brown tallied 23.5 ppg., 13.1 rpg. and 2.4 bpg. for Prolific Prep.
“It was a good season for me. I stepped out to play bigger and better competition to better prepare for college, and that’s exactly what I did. I felt like I did pretty well.”
Brown is one of the most highly sought after big men still on the recruiting ranks. He maintains that his list is wide open, but one school particularly stands out, and it’s based in Lafayette, Louisiana.
There’s a reason for that – Brown’s dad, Dion, starred at Lafayette from 1980-84. He remains the Regin’ Cajuns fifth all-time leading rebounder and was inducted into the UL Athletics Hall of Fame in the fall of 2017.
Jordan took an official visit to his father’s old stomping grounds in late February.
“I think it went pretty well,” said Brown. “The facilities they have there are pretty nice, and they had a good season.”
“This has been a long process, but it’s been steady,” Brown added, on his recruitment. I’m just trying to figure out exactly what I’m looking for in a school. I want to make sure the decision I make is the right thing for me, and that it will help me reach my goals in the future.”
— Krysten Peek (@KP_Rivals) October 17, 2017
“He’s played such a huge role in my basketball life," Brown said of his father. “He introduced me to the game, and he’s taught me everything I know. He’s the main influencing factor in my basketball life.”
And when he’s not dad, he’s the trainer.
“He’s been the one training me my whole life. It’s just usually me and him. This year, he let me to go work out on my own, just to build that responsibility of being one to do it on my own. But, as far as me and him in the gym, it’s been working for me in my career, so that’s why we stuck with it.”
A Lighter Side
Often described as quiet with a shy smile, Brown doesn’t dispute those reports.
“Yeah, I feel like that’s true,” he said.
“As far as my personality on and off the court, I think those are two different things. Off the court, I am soft spoken to an extent, but on the floor, it doesn’t really matter who I’m matched up with. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get the job done.”
He noted that once he truly becomes comfortable around others, he’s a naturally funny person behind the scenes, and a creative one, too.
A woodshop class, which he explained had a more construction-type focus, allowed him to design three dimensional landscapes. That intrigued him, maybe even enough to study it in college.
“I have a creative mind. My older brother and I, we’ve always drawn growing up, so I’m very artistic. Going into my senior year, I decided to try to teach myself the piano, so that’s something I’m still working on.”
A member of the 2015 USA U16 National Team that captured the gold medal with a perfect 5-0 record at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Brown averaged 9.4 ppg.,4.4 rpg and 2.0 apg., while shooting 55.2 percent from the field and 78.9 percent from the foul line.
He returned the next summer to win gold with the 2016 USA U17 World Cup Team in Zaragoza, Spain, averaging 5.9 ppg. and 4.9 rpg. in 12.1 mpg.
“They’ve been great experiences, and every time I’ve played with USA Basketball, I’ve played up,” Brown said.
“I played with guys a year ahead of me, so you take that time to see how they act and portray themselves as leaders on a team like that. I think that will help me with this team in Portland.”
The 2018 Nike Hoop Summit will be played at 7 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 13, at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/nikehoopsummit2018.