Dependable freshman: Walk-on Brown sees more playing time in conference


Those who didn’t know much about Jordan Brown received an emphatic introduction from the man himself last week.

Brown exploded to the rim for a two-hand alley-oop finish from Marcel Mosley to give Arkansas-Pine Bluff a two-point lead against Grambling State late in the first half. Just seconds later, he repeated the process with Tevin Hammond doing the dishing.

The dunks were part of a 20-0 run going into the second half that UAPB its biggest lead of the game. They’re also a perfect example of the energy that Brown, a freshman walk-on from Augusta, brings to the Lions.

“As a player, I see him as a person who can help us running the floor and getting down on the break,” Hammond said. “He’s a good help.”

The 6-foot-4 Brown has appeared in only 11 of UAPB’s 21 games this season, giving way to more experienced wing players earlier in the season. But thanks in large part to a strong performance against now-17th ranked Iowa, when he logged season highs of five points and 16 minutes, Brown hasn’t missed a game in SWAC play.

“I thought then (at Iowa), there goes a kid who could really help us,” Ivory said. “By him being patient and taking his time, at the right point, he can be that guy who’s really needed.”

Ivory even considered starting Brown in place of injured Davon Haynes for tonight’s home game against Alabama A&M. But the coach said Haynes (fractured right hand) will be ready to go.

“(Brown) is just a smaller version of Davon,” Ivory said. “Like I said, a super athlete.”

Brown’s high school coach, Ricky Everett, isn’t at all surprised by Brown’s energy. As a senior in Augusta, Brown averaged 23 points and eight rebounds per game mainly playing power forward and center but sometimes working the shooting guard and swing positions as well.

“In ninth grade we moved him up (to the varsity) and he was very instrumental on our high school team,” Everett said. “The next two years, he was a key controlling factor on our team.”

Brown averaged 15 points his sophomore season and 18 the next year. Everett called him the best all-around athlete he’s coached “by far” at Augusta.

“He plays to win,” Everett said “He’s a leader on and off the court.”

Brown also was a three-sport standout at Augusta, playing wide receiver on the football team and winning state championships in the 4x100 and 4x400 in track and field. He helped Augusta win the 2A team championship his freshman and sophomore years.

“Playing football helps him a whole lot when he gets around the goal and bangs,” Ivory said. “He fools people with his height. You look at him, and the next thing you know, he’s all over the rim, jumping and running.”

Scholarships from Division II schools came Brown’s way, but Ivory recruited him as a walk-on and Brown decided to take the Division I challenge.

“Most of my family went here (to UAPB), too, so that’s why I wanted to come here,” Brown said.

It was just a matter of time before Brown could become a regular contributor to the Golden Lions.

“I wanted to work my way up, and that’s what I wanted to do from the start,” Brown said. “It’s finally coming along now.”