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Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Unsung hero - Sean Brown, Free State

Junior does it with ‘D’ - virtually and on court

February 20, 2008

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Sean Brown

Sean Brown

Despite owning just a 12-6 record against high school competition in the state, the Free State High boys basketball team has become a formidable foe on the college basketball scene.

That's thanks to FSHS junior Sean Brown, who created the Firebirds in the dynasty mode of his "March Madness '08" video game.

True to form, Brown's cyber Firebirds are led by seniors Kris Wilson and Weston Wiebe - both 99 ratings on the game - and have lost 13 games in two seasons.

Free State's actual record the past two seasons is 25-18.

But the more impressive part of that reality equation is that Brown, a ballhawking defensive stopper whose offensive statistics barely register in the Free State box scores, painted an accurate virtual picture of himself, warts and all.

Brown gave himself a 70 in the shooting department and delivered similarly modest numbers in all other offensive categories.

His defensive numbers, however, were off the charts: 99 in speed and defense.

Overall, thanks to a slight boost in leaping ability, Brown checks in as a 92 on his favorite sports video game.

Those on his team, however, would rate Brown no lower than 100.

"It doesn't happen very often that a kid is willing to accept a role where he isn't very involved in the offense," Free State coach Chuck Law said. "There have been a number of games this season where Sean was a key contributor, if not the key contributor, without scoring a point or even taking a shot."

That's just the way Brown likes it. He's plenty happy to sit back and break down the game in his head before jumping into the action, although he has started a handful of games this season.

The Central Junior High product also is well aware of his standing on the team.

"The seniors on this team can score," Brown said. "I'm happy to let them do it. I try to find other ways to help."

Most often that comes on defense. In addition to the affectionate tag of "Sean Breezey," Law calls Brown the most instinctive defensive player the team has. He also pegs Brown as the team's strongest player pound-for-pound and insists that all the credit for the junior's willingness to become the consumate role player goes to Brown.

"It's in Sean's make-up to accept that," Law said. "It's not necessarily anything that we've done."

Regardless of what he's doing - Brown still fills a key role as one of his team's best creators on offense - Brown takes great pride in chipping in any way he can.

"You have to have fundamentals, but you have to have pride, too," Brown said. "Being a role player is cool with me. I guess you could say I'm a defensive leader. After I make a couple of plays, the whole team catches fever and rides the wave with me."

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