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Wizards Welcome Top Draft Pick Brown to D.C.

The Washington Wizards formally introduced its top 2018 draft pick, Troy Brown Jr., at a press conference Monday inside Capital One Arena in northwest D.C.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said Brown fits into the team’s system as a versatile 6-7 forward who can play and guard multiple positions.

Grunfeld said Brown follows how four current Wizards’ — John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. — all drafted as the team’s first-round pick and learn to become a professional.

“It’s going to be a process for him,” Grunfeld said about Brown. “But like any young player, he’s a very, very hard worker. He’s very dedicated to the game of basketball. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to win basketball games.”

Grunfeld said he followed Brown since he was selected as a McDonald All-American and ranked as one of the top high school players in the country.

Brown, who turns 19 next month, averaged 11 points and six rebounds per game during his lone season at the University of Oregon.

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld (right) introduces the team's top 2018 draft pick, Troy Brown Jr., during a June 25 press conference at Capital One Arena in D.C. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld (right) introduces the team’s top 2018 draft pick, Troy Brown Jr., during a June 25 press conference at Capital One Arena in D.C. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

The Las Vegas native has already been the subject of some good-natured ribbing, having come to D.C. with the city still reveling in the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup victory over the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Brown joins Washington Nationals star and fellow Las Vegas transplant Bryce Harper in his rooting for the Golden Knights.

“I’ve gotten a lot of criticism for it, but my explanation is I’m born and raised in Las Vegas and I’m not scared to [represent] my city,” Brown said with a smile. “I didn’t know I was going to the Wizards, so hopefully I will have a Bryce Harper jersey and [fans] will forgive me a little bit.”

Before Brown recorded 55 steals in his one season at Oregon, fifth all-time in school history.

With the NBA moving away from position-based basketball, Brown said he’s coming into the league at the right time. For example, power forwards such as the Wizards’ Markieff Morris are now shooting three-pointers and passing from the perimeter.

“A lot of stretch fours are getting a lot of love right now for being able to stretch the floor and make other plays for people,” Brown said. “Right now, it is great timing for me coming into the league. I just want to prove I belong here.”

Team officials rave about Brown’s June 11 workout for the team and his character, to which he credits his parents, Lynn Brown and Troy Brown Sr., who attended the press conference along with his sister, Jada Brown. His best friend, Isaiah Burist, also sat with the family.

Brown’s father played college basketball at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and his sister Jada played at the University of Kansas, from which she graduated in December.

Lynn Brown participated in track and field at the same college as her husband.

Troy Brown Sr., a retired Nevada corrections officer, said Burist will stay in the District with his son to assist him. While Troy Brown Jr. works out and learns the NBA business, Burist will enroll in online college courses and learn the sports business.

The Browns’ oldest daughter, Jenae Brown, graduated from the University of Nevada Las Vegas last year and works as a licensed social worker in Nevada.

“As a father when raising your kids, they kind of tell you what they want to do,” Troy Brown Sr. said in an interview. “As a family, we’re just excited for [Troy Brown Jr.]. We know how hard he has worked. We’ve always known he’s done things the right way.

“You’re always excited when you know your kid has achieved things,” the elder Brown said. It’s just a blessing.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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