Troy Brown Jr.’s last couple weeks are unlike many 17-year-old’s, let alone working adults. The consensus blue chip prospect kicked off July helping Team USA’s 17-and-under squad capture a gold medal in Spain, then travelled to Augusta, GA for Nike’s Peach Jam and is now currently balling in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the NY2LA Sports Summer Jam.
Brown already has scholarship offers from just about every blueblood and powerhouse program in the NCAA, but the 6-6 guard from Centennial High (Las Vegas, NV) isn’t looking to take any breaks during the NCAA live evaluation periods regardless of his abnormal travel schedule.
“I’ve been trying to keep everything in perspective,” Brown Jr. said. “This is my last AAU (season), so I want to make the best of it and have fun. You can’t think about getting tired because I don’t want it to be one of those things that I regret where I let fatigue get to my head where I didn’t enjoy my last AAU season.”
Running with the Las Vegas Prospects also allows him to join forces with 6-6 shooting guard Charles O’Bannon Jr (Bishop Gorman HS), another talented perimeter prospect from Vegas. Bishop Gorman is the defending state champion, and has beaten Centennial in the Regional title in each season of their high school careers. Regardless of any rivalry in the winter, both players are relishing the chance to don the same uniform.
“It’s a fun experience,” Brown Jr. said. “Especially since we never got to be teammates when we were kids. So having him on the team has been great because he’s a great kid and he’s a helluva scorer. He can score it in so many different ways, so it’s a lot of fun playing with him. Then when I’ll play him in the high school season it makes it a whole lot better.”
“It’s been special,” said O’Bannon Jr., who is a consensus top 50 recruit in the class of 2017, about teaming with Brown. “In Vegas, basketball isn’t really a priority so a lot of teams aren’t that good. So us being on the two top powerhouses makes it real interesting in the playoffs because we never see each other in the regular season.”
While O’Bannon is a straight scoring guard, Brown has been showing off his ability to pass, rebound, defend and finish in transition. His versatile, and continually developing skill-set combined with his size and athleticism as well as the ability to guard three spots on the perimeter is what had the likes of UCLA, Duke, UNC, UNLV and many more tracking him at the Summer Jam.
Coaches have been packing the stands at his games throughout his high school career during the live evaluation periods. The lofty national rankings and attention from the respective fan bases of the schools recruiting him along with the actual recruitment by the colleges themselves are all part of the deal for a player worthy enough to represent the country on Team USA’s U17 squad, then fly to the Peach Jam and NY2LA Sports Summer Jam before he can take a nap at home in Las Vegas.
However, Brown had lofty expectations for his basketball career even before his high school career began.
“It first started when I was playing with the West Coast Rebels (in seventh grade), and got second place at AAU Nationals,” Brown Jr. said. “That’s when I started figuring stuff out and realizing this is something I could be really good at.”
“I take it really serious because it’s a blessing,” Brown Jr. said. “Sometimes (the recruiting process) gets annoying but it’s one of those things I’d rather have then not have. So I’ve been grateful and taking it slow. I’m really close with my family so I’ve been talking to my mom and dad a lot, and as of now I’m planning on cutting my list very soon.”
Wherever Brown Jr. lands for college, they’ll be getting not only a versatile player but one who is already used to travelling nation and world wide.
(Photo credit: Rick Negus)