The question is: What can David Brown Jr. do for an encore?
Brown, the sensational junior from St. Mary’s High School, was selected to the Boston Globe Super Team, one of five players to receive arguably high school basketball’s most prestigious individual honor.
To make it an even more memorable season for David Brown Jr, his father, David Brown Sr., was named the Globe’s Division 3 Coach of the Year for leading the Spartans to the Division 3 state championship. David’s teammate, Ali Barry, joined him on the post-season awards parade as a Globe and Herald All-Scholastic.
The Globe’s Super Team award marked another chapter in David’s remarkable year during which he was named the Globe’s Division 6 Football Athlete of the Year last fall.
The state championship game is a good place to start to recognize the basketball exploits of Brown, a 5-foot-9-inch guard, who put the finishing touches on the Spartans’ 71-40 victory over Watertown with a spectacular dunk in the fourth quarter. The Spartans finished with a 27-1 record and a 26-game winning streak that DBJ and Company will carry into next season.
Statistically, Brown’s season showed his total unselfishness at the point guard position and his commitment to all phases of the game, averaging 15.4 points, six assists, six rebounds, and three steals per game.
“I was really happy where I took my game this year,” said Brown.
Brown nearly claimed his first state title as a freshman starting guard, but the Spartans fell to Jeremiah Burke at the TD Garden (Burke was declared co-state champion after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the championship game). Last season’s playoffs were canceled, but this season the Spartans left no doubt that they were among the elite teams in Massachusetts. Fans no doubt would have loved to have seen a BC High-St. Mary’s battle of state unbeatens to determine the on-court No. 1 ranking. Wouldn’t that matchup have been unbelievable?
“It’s great to win a state title,” said David Jr. “I really wish we had won that game in Florida, so we could have finished an unbeaten season. But in a way, I think that loss sort of helped us. I knew we had good shot of going far in the playoffs this year, but I didn’t think we would win every game in Massachusetts.”
Brown’s year-to-year improvement, dating all the way back to elementary school, has been noteworthy. Brown played alongside current
St. Mary’s teammates Ali Barry, Omri Merryman on AAU teams coached by his father, David Sr.
David Jr. credited his father for his coaching and his guidance in his basketball career. It’s very helpful to get an instant critique on the ride home from games or at the dinner table.
“My dad’s a great motivator,” said David Jr. “He encourages us vigorously. When we’re doing something wrong, he’ll let you know that you have to do it better. I’m so honored to have him as our coach.”
A Proud Father Reflects on His Son’s Amazing Season
David Brown Sr. was, of course, a terrific basketball player himself. After a superb career at St. Mary’s, he went on to earn induction into the Westfield State University Hall of Fame as a team captain and a 1,000-point scorer while setting all-time school records in assists (373) and steals (224).
“I’m so happy for David,” said Brown Sr. “He’s been around the game for so long. He was able to witness state championship teams in 2016 (St. Mary’s) and 2011 (Winthrop), and it’s always been his goal. For him to earn a ring and achieve that goal this year, I’m just so excited for him. He had a tremendous season. He shot over 42 percent from three-point land. His assist-to-turnover ratio was something a coach wants from their point guard. He was one of our team leaders. When you have team leaders like David, Ali, and Henri, who are your hardest workers in practice, it makes the season very fun, very easy to coach, and the younger players follow them. They realize if the best players are working hard, the young players are going to follow that. This was a great season, and they were a very fun group to coach.”
David Brown Sr. says that some of his son’s dunks this season were stunning to watch.
“He’s had a lot of exciting moments this year, a lot of dunks,” said David Sr. “I know he’s an athletic kid, but it shocks me every time he’s able to get off the floor and put those down. He probably had over 20 dunks in a 28-game season, which is very surprising from a 5-9 guard. He commits to training in the off season, and it’s paid off, for sure.”
As for the ‘encore’ question. David Brown Jr. has 918 career points, so he’ll likely join the St. Mary’s 1,000-point club early in the 2022-23 season. And right now, the “Spectacular Spartan” is looking ahead to football season when he hopes to lead the school to yet another state championship.
And of course, David Brown Jr. is on the radar of several colleges in football and basketball.