Parker Brown spent the past couple of days deciding his future.
There was a time it didn't look so promising.
He said he used to smoke marijuana and that was all he cared about every day. Those days no longer exist in Brown's life.
Brown turned things around before his senior year at Corona del Mar High. He killed his addiction and became sober.
Figuring out what college Brown plans to play for is what he contemplated the last couple of days. He took off for Catalina Island with a couple of friends and his mother, Carol Peck.
"It definitely kind of helps me to get away from other people and their input on what I'm going to want to do in the next four years," Brown said. "It's a big decision and I know it's going to effect me for the rest of my life."
By the time you read this, Brown might have made his collegiate choice. The final three schools on his list were UCLA, USC and Pepperdine.
He said his mother went to USC, but she hasn't sung the school's fight song to influence Brown. The decision, Brown said, is his own.
The decision as to who is the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year in boys' volleyball is an easy one. Brown is the best player in the area, and he might be the nicest teenager around.
The outside hitter led the Sea Kings back to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title match. Repeating is no easy task. Past CdM teams can tell you that.
No boys' team has claimed back-to-back section titles in the Sea Kings' storied history.
Brown gave CdM a shot. The explosive 6-foot-3 player put the Sea Kings in position to defend their section championship.
The opening set in the finale against Oak Park went to CdM. Brown put on a show in the first set by recording nine of his match-high 26 kills.
Oak Park took the next three sets and the title, ending Brown's career with the Sea Kings.
He posted impressive numbers – 408 kills, 102 digs, 44 service aces and 21 blocks – in his final season. He earned all the accolades, All-CIF Southern Section Division 2, first-team All-Orange County, a share of the Pacific Coast League MVP, and played in the Dave Mohs Memorial Orange County High School All-Star match.
The season didn't end like how it did in Brown's junior year, when CdM won section, regional and national crowns. But Brown sees his senior year as an overall success, on the court and off it.
"I'm definitely going to miss the whole team, especially my coach, Steve Conti," said Brown, a repeat Dream Team selection. "He cared a lot about his players. He sacrificed a lot of his time to make me a better person. I want to thank him.
"For the last four years, he's been a real good role model. He's a person of high integrity and I think he really prepares his players for the real world."
The following are the rest of the players on this year's Dream Team: