Belleville's Brown perseveres to land with Spartans
Gabe Brown had no clue about what was going to take place Saturday when he attended Michigan State’s team basketball camp with his Belleville High teammates.
Brown, who will be entering his senior year this fall, was invited to go up to the Michigan State coach's office to talk with Tom Izzo who had been impressed with his play. He left the office in shock … and with an offer to play for the Spartans on a full-ride scholarship.
“I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t think it was going to happen and when it did I was just so excited,” said Brown, who had his older brother, Nick, Belleville coach Adam Trumpour and AAU coach Mike Faletti with him. “I’ve been an MSU fan ever since I was 14. My dad has been an MSU fan my whole life.”
And, what made Brown so emotional was the fact that his father, Charles Brown, watched a Michigan State game on TV a few years ago when Gabe was 14 and told him: “I want you to play for Tom Izzo because he’s the greatest coach.”
Brown accepted Izzo’s offer Tuesday and knows his father is proud, especially with all the hard work he put into his game after his father suffered a stroke then passed away in May 2016.
“I really had to think about what I wanted to do, how bad I wanted it and I just kept on working,” said Brown.
Brown, a 6-foot-8 small forward, has made the improvement from a no-star recruit to a four-star recruit who averaged 15.9 points and 5.7 rebounds, shot 60.2 percent from the field and converted 41 percent of his 3-pointers (41-for-100) this past season.
And, Brown’s strong junior campaign came after he didn’t initially make the varsity team at the start of his sophomore year before finally getting called up in late January to play in the final eight games.
Brown grew from 6-3 as a sophomore to 6-7 his junior year and is expected to max out at 6-9 or 6-10 before heading to Michigan State.
“I made my greatest improvement last year with just confidence,” said Brown, who played AAU ball with the Michigan Mustangs in past years and is now playing for The Family based out of Detroit.
Brown plans to play in an AAU tournament in Augusta, Georgia, in early July with Detroit East English point guard David DeJulius – a Michigan commit – and Detroit Henry Ford Academy's Trevion Williams (6-8, 250), who has been offered by Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois.