GREEN BAY – Alec Brown finished his Green Bay Phoenix basketball career as the Horizon League defensive player of the year, first team all-league, and as the program’s all-time leading shot blocker. Brown now hopes to become the sixth Green Bay Phoenix basketball player selected in the NBA draft and first since Jeff Nordgaard in 1996
Alec Brown is in the process of crisscrossing the country He’s already worked out for five NBA teams. He has six more scheduled in the next two weeks, including one Thursday with the Utah Jazz. That’s a far cry from when he showed up on campus four years ago.
“It’s weird because coming here from Winona Minnesota I really had no prospect of making the NBA,” Brown reflected. “It was always a dream back then for having it to be a reality or close to a reality is pretty exciting.”
The media got a chance to see Brown in Bennett Gym, working out with the same coaches and in the same gym that he practiced in throughout his college career. When he’s goes to work out for NBA teams there’s a very different feeling in the workout.
“It’s good to go out to these workouts and show these teams and show everyone really that I’m just as good as those bigger name guys that are on TV all the time,” Brown said. The struggle or uphill climb Brown is attempting to make is the same one facing many mid-major players. “They’ve got to go to these workouts and really kill the bigger name guys to have chance because they didn’t get a lot of coverage at their school or whatever or get a lot of hype. They’ve got to come out and show what they can do.”
Phoenix Head Coach Brian Wardle wants Brown to enjoy the unique experience these workouts provide even in the midst of the stress of trying to impress NBA team.
“I told him just embrace this time have fun with it and you’re getting to do some things that most people never get to do and that’s see the country in the span of just a 2 or 3 week span. He’s been enjoying it and he’s been performing pretty well for NBA teams and shooting the ball well,” Wardle said.
Brown may have graduated but Brian Wardle is still in his corner serving as an advocate for Brown. “He’s a very smart young man and he’s not trying to go outside of himself. That’s what every NBA guy, coach, scout, GM I’ve talked to has really said he’s done a great job of who being who he is. Make jumpers, run the floor, be a high motor active 7-footer who can really shoot and that’s what he’s been doing and it’s really been helping him.”
Wardle said Brown’s skill set helps set him apart from other draft eligible players. “Alec can do things most 7-footers can’t do. He’s got great hands. He can run. He’s not afraid of contact. He’ll hit, ball screen, space the floor and make shots. They really enjoyed watching him shoot the ball,” Wardle said.
Only 60 players hear their name called on draft night and Brown knows even if he’s not chosen, his NBA dream isn’t over.
“If I don’t get picked it won’t be that much different than if I get picked late in the second round,” Brown said. “Everyone wants their name to get called but either way I’ll be playing in the summer league, working out and trying to make a team regardless.”
According to Coach Wardle, NBA Coaches and GM’s have been impressed by Brown’s workouts so far. We’ll know June 26th if they’re impressed enough to pick the 7-footer.