Viper basketball standout Brown III eyes college play

Vandegrift Viper basketball standout Greg Brown III shoots a freethrow in the 3rd quarter against Hendrickson last season. KYRA BACHICK

By KYRA BACHICK, Vandegrift Voice 

His coach calls plays as he runs down the court to get another three pointer, the squeak of the shoes and the scream of the crowd gets him amped up. Senior Greg Brown III is currently deciding which school to play college basketball as his last high school season begins.

Brown — who missed a month of play last season due to an injury, managed to still average 30.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.4 blocks per game, according to MaxPreps — is entertaining offers from University of Texas, University of Memphis, University of North Carolina, Auburn University and University of Kentucky. 

“I think those schools will be the best fit for me as a player and a person, like after college just to live there,” Brown said. “I just think about all those possibilities and what would be the best for me.”

Brown said both coaches and location draw him to these schools. He feels it is important to connect with people on the campus.

“Coaches and the relationships I have with them, and definitely the school [are important factors],” he said. “I have to stay there and be a student. Plus the relationship with the team, I have to see them everyday and play with them.”

Brown has officially visited UT and UNC, and he has met several current and former players on both of those teams. He also went to UNC to tour the campus and meet with the coaches. 

“It was the first time for talking to the coaches, to get to know the history and to meet up,” Brown said. “[To] tell me what they want me to do there and what I can bring to the table.”

Even through the recruiting process is stressful, it has its perks. 

“I would say [my favorite part is] meeting new people, like Mike Miller and Penny Hardaway, they are some NBA greats,” Brown said. “They won a couple rings, with the best player in the world Lebron James. Also [I like] meeting the players because you can see their take of being a collegiate player and NBA player. You can learn a lot from them.”

Brown is ranked the No. 1 basketball player in the state and the fifth or sixth in the nation, depending on the site, according to Cliff Ellis, head basketball coach at VHS. Ellis expects Brown to be an NBA lottery pick in the next two years.

“Greg doesn’t need my help in the recruitment process,” varsity basketball coach Cliff Ellis said. “Greg’s ability speaks way louder than I can. The sky’s the limit for Greg when it comes to basketball. There is nothing he can’t do with a basketball in his hands. To be his size with his athleticism it really isn’t fair..”

The Viper basketball teams began with a couple of scrimmages, the first Nov. 9 in San Marcos and Nov. 12 at home. On Nov. 16, the team was scheduled to play a non-conference game at 6 p.m. vs Clemens from Schertz, near San Antonio. But Brown is already doing what he can to prepare himself to be a college athlete. He is mainly focusing on getting stronger and playing faster. 

“In high school we play a lot slower than what they do in college,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to get stronger in the weight room and help my team play a little faster so we can beat teams off of college tempo.”

Brown’s dad, uncle and coach have all been his biggest supporters during the recruiting process. He said that he can turn to his dad for advice because he has already been through the college recruiting process.

“Sometimes it’s overwhelming for me because I’m a senior right now, and I’m leaving next year,” Brown said. “My dad just tells me ‘you’re gonna make a great decision wherever you go.’”

Vandegrift Vipers junior Greg Brown III (3) moves the ball during a high school basketball game between Vandegrift and Rouse at Vandegrift High School on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 in Austin, TX. SCOTT W. COLEMAN