As one of the top inside threats in Baltimore-area girls basketball, Southern's Jordyn Brown gets a lot of attention.
Despite drawing double and triple teams on a nightly basis, the 6-foot senior averages 22.7 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game for the Bulldogs (5-10). No team has been able to stop Brown, a force inside who can also hit the 3-pointer.
A veteran of the Maryland Lady Shooting Stars Amateur Athletic Union team, Brown also plays volleyball for Southern. She has a 3.83 GPA and plans to play basketball in college.
Last weekend, she visited Guilford College in North Carolina and is also considering Goucher, West Virginia State and Bridgewater. She plans to become an athletic trainer.
I started when I was 4 and my dad was the coach for my clinic team. My brother played, and that was his stepson. My mom played. It was a family thing. My dad played at Bowie State. My mom played in high school for St. Michaels.
Were you always the tallest player when you were younger?
Yeah, I was always like the tallest in my classes, but now all my friends are sprouting up above me — all my guy friends that I used to play with.
Did you ever play on a boys team?
No, but my brother — he's 27 — he takes me to play with his guy friends at Shadyside Rec, so he helps me get in extra work and [Southern boys basketball coach William Maynard] will let me play with the boys sometimes.
Meeting new people and traveling, because for AAU, we went to a whole bunch of states I've never been to like Illinois, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana, and I've made lots of friends from all different counties. It's been a really nice experience and it keeps me out of trouble (laughs).
What are you looking for in a college program?
I'm looking for a place that will help me reach my goal of getting my bachelor's or my master's in athletic training, and that will help me better myself as a person, help me broaden my horizons. I want to experience new things. I want to study abroad and get as many experiences as possible so I can get as good a job as possible.
Where does the interest in athletic training come from?
Just being around sports a lot, and I wouldn't mind doing sports administration either. Anything sports related I really like. I was also considering minoring in chemistry until I experienced AP chem, and that just changed it all. When we came from honors chemistry to AP chem it was a huge difference. I did okay in the class. It was fun, but, oh my goodness, it was a lot more work that I thought.
Did you blow up anything?
Do you like being the player that your teammates rely so heavily on?
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. I like being the one they trust and everything, but sometimes I feel like it's a lot of pressure and like, "What if I make the wrong decision? What if I do this and they're all against it?" I want to be liked and respected by them all. I don't want to be hated by anyone, because I see all of them as friends and sisters, someone I can look to and confide in and I hope they can confide in me as well.
What's the most important thing about being a leader for this young team?
With our three other seniors, you've got to talk to them and know how to talk to them and not just yell at them. There's times I do yell but it's not like in a negative way. I'll try to pull them aside on a foul shot and talk to them and encourage them. I try to get them to think that they can do what I do.
What's it like for you in the trenches?
Rough and tough. You get a lot of bruises, but sometimes it's worth it, knowing that you're working for the easiest shot. I get double- and triple-teamed a lot, but I pass it out to my teammates and we work the ball around. I guess I have a physical edge over a lot of players, because I'm naturally big.
Do you have a favorite college or pro player you look up to?
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I really like Kobe Bryant, even though it's kind of like mainstream. I like Kobe and LeBron [James]. They take charge when they need to, and they can have a bad game or think they had a bad game and still manage to lead their team no matter what, even it's not in points. They always try their hardest. They know they can do whatever they want, but they don't do what they want, because they know they have to get their teammates involves as well, which is what I try to do. They're selfish, but they're selfish to the point that it's not really bad.
What moment of your sporting life would you most like to live over?
Playoff game for basketball against Largo when I got my 1,000th point. It was at Largo, but a lot of people came. I was shocked. People kept asking how many points I needed and at halftime, I think I was at 15 and I needed 10 more and when I got it, it was on an and-one, so everybody started cheering. I was like, "Yes! The weight is off my shoulders. I don't have to be nervous the rest of the game." Coach Kil [Linda Kilpatrick] got me the ball, so it's up in the trophy room.