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Lacrosse: Self-proclaimed lax junkie Brown becoming 'a generational talent'

Ryan Brown, a Sykesville native, plays for the Charlotte Hounds of the Major Lacrosse League. Brown went to Calvert Hall before becoming an all-America pick at Johns Hopkins.
Ryan Brown, a Sykesville native, plays for the Charlotte Hounds of the Major Lacrosse League. Brown went to Calvert Hall before becoming an all-America pick at Johns Hopkins. (Brett Davis/Pretty Instant)

Sykesville's Ryan Brown continues to be consumed with lacrosse.

He competes for the Charlotte Hounds in Major League Lacrosse, helps put on shooting clinics for the Baltimore-based RBDC Lacrosse (Ryan Brown/Deemer Class), and works as a volunteer men's assistant lacrosse coach at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

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He was also one of 59 players selected to try out next week for the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team that participates in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships in Israel.

Brown, who starred at Johns Hopkins University and was a second-team All-American attackman as both a senior and junior, strongly believes all the lacrosse activities will help with his professional lacrosse career.

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"I really do like being involved in all those lacrosse things," Brown said. "You can see it around the league. Guys who have lacrosse-related jobs tend to last longer in the league than guys who are more like in the finance world and stuff like that. I think it goes a long way if you have your stick in your hand all the time."

Brown, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 MLL Collegiate Draft, can't wait for the MLL All-Star Game on Saturday in Sacramento, Calif.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Brown earned the selection by emerging as one of the league's most dominant players this season.

The Calvert Hall graduate ranks second in the MLL with 27 goals in 10 games.

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"I am pretty excited about playing in the game," Brown said. "It's a great accomplishment. I don't know if I would say it's the highlight of my career, but I would definitely say it's up there. The highlight of my career would probably be being an All-American at Hopkins."

Charlotte coach Jim Stagnitta says the 23-year-old Brown keeps getting better as a player — even though his resume is already pretty impressive.

Ryan Brown is introduced before a 2016 Major League League game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks.
Ryan Brown is introduced before a 2016 Major League League game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. (Paul Boskovich/Pretty Instant)

"He is really getting comfortable with the league," Stagnitta said. "His game just continues to improve. He has made the adjustments he needs to make to be a successful scorer in the league."

Brown is as valuable to the Hounds as any player on their roster.

He joined Charlotte last year after a standout career at Hopkins, where he finished as the Blue Jays' second-time leading goal scorer with 159.

"He's the best shooter I've ever been around," Stagnitta said. "His shot is very accurate and fast. He has the ability to get shots off quickly and get them off in tight areas. It's nothing like I have ever seen before — his array of shots."

Charlotte general manager Mike Cerino agrees.

"He is kind of a generational talent," he said. "He is that outstanding a shooter with both hands. He is like watching (Golden State guard) Stephen Curry. He always seems to be in the right place to get his shot off."

Brown, who was fourth on the team last year with 31 points in 10 games, helped changed the culture with the Hounds.

Charlotte won a franchise-record eight games last summer and lost a playoff semifinal to the Ohio Machine after two difficult years.

"We hit rock bottom for a couple of years," said Cerino, noting the Hounds finished last in the league in 2014 and 2015. "But we have been pretty good since he has been around."

One game in particular stands out to Brown this season.

He scored three goals in a 15-14 win over the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on June 16.

"That's one of my favorite places to play," Brown said.

The MLL isn't the only thing concerning lacrosse that has been on his mind.

He'll be sharply focused on excelling in the 2018 U.S. Men's National team tryouts in Sparks two days after the MLL All-Star game.

"I think that would be the ultimate goal to make that team," Brown said. "It would be a cool thing to say that you are playing for USA and getting to travel to Israel. That would be quite an honor."

Added Cerino: "Being in the world-team training group, we are catching him right now in a peak situation."

Coaching is also something that Brown has a lot of interest in.

He plans to return to Marquette to coach again next spring, but if another job becomes available that appeals to him, he'll grab it.

"I'm open to other possibilities," Brown said.

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