Niles senior Alec Brown is enjoying his final season. (Leader photo/File)
Niles senior Alec Brown is enjoying his final season. (Leader photo/File)

Archived Story

Brown putting up big numbers for Niles

Published 8:02am Friday, February 15, 2013

Despite a forgettable overall record, senior Alec Brown is enjoying a memorable final prep season with the Niles boys basketball team.

The 6-foot-2 swingman is averaging slightly more than 18 points per contest as one of the primary scoring options for coach Todd Pawielski’s Vikings, and recently poured in a career-high 36 points in a rare victory over visiting South Bend Riley.

His team has struggled to just four victories in 15 outings, but Brown said he is enjoying the experience and having fun.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “We’re in every single game, but in the end we just don’t come out on top. We try so hard and we keep being unlucky. Hopefully, luck will change and be in our favor, soon. This is the last year for the seniors and we’re going to go out with a bang, either way. If we lose, then we’ll know we gave it our all.”

Pawielski marvels at how far Brown’s game has progressed in the last five years.

“I can remember when Alec was a 5-foot-nothing 7th grader,” Pawielski said. “To see the young man that he has become, both on and off the court, is very gratifying. I think he’s maybe the best scorer/combination shooter that we’ve had in the seven years that I have been here.

“He’s having a standout individual season. It’s a shame our record isn’t what we’d like it to be. This is just one of those classes where we’ve lost a lot of good players. We’re missing three starters off this team from the kids that were here in 8th and 9th grade. It’s been a frustrating year for Alec in that regard, but he continues to get better every day and we’re happy he has a chance to play at the next level.”

Brown projects as either a shooting guard or small forward at the collegiate level, as has drawn the attention of several schools, including Lake Michigan College.

In order to have an impact in college, Brown is the first to admit that he has some work to do.

“To play at the next level I have to work on my defense a little more and get a little stronger,” Brown said. “But I feel like I can play at the next level.”

As does Pawielski.

“There is no substitute for rock-solid shooting ability and he brings that to the table,” Pawielski said. “He is improving, defensively, and just lives in the gym. He is a young man that we have been lucky to have in our program and he is one of those athletes who does all the right things for the right reasons.”

Although his number is called to shoot in multiple offensive sets for the Vikings, Brown realizes the importance of involving his teammates.

“(Opponents) do key on me a little bit more, and I’m just now realizing that,” Brown said. “It’s important to make that extra pass. I trust my teammates to finish the shot, and I think we’re better when we share the ball. We can definitely win some more games if we do that.”

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