The 2021 NCAA men’s basketball national champion Baylor Bears reloaded its roster with a top-15 nationally ranked recruiting class that included Langston Love, Jeremy Sochan, Arizona transfer James Akinjo, and five-star prospect Kendall Brown. Playing for Sunrise Christian Academy (KS), Brown had a successful individual year garnering selections to the McDonald’s All-American game, USA Nike Hoop Summit team, Iverson Classic, and the Jordan Brand Classic.
Along with Tennessee signee Kennedy Chandler, Brown helped lead Sunrise Christian to the GEICO Nationals final against a tough Montverde Academy (FL) squad. A legitimate NBA prospect, the two-way forward who thrives in transition, cutting, and posting up, is constantly active in passing lanes and timely rotating to the weak side by turning defense into easy offense. Brown possesses a strong frame and has developed into an underrated passer, as well.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Brown reflected on his senior year at Sunrise Christian and playing in the GEICO Nationals championship game, his goals at Baylor, his interest in movie directing and video game streaming, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present Kendall Brown, from Cottage Grove, Minnesota:
Pro Insight: Talk a bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?
Kendall Brown: I’ll say, just growing up in a basketball family, being pushed by my dad who used to play [at Southwest MN State and professionally] and my older brother. We just always grew up playing the game. So, I have an older brother to kind of lead the path to get to where I am now. It was a great help to where I am.
PI: How tall are your parents?
KB: My dad is 6’6. My mother is 6’0.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
KB: Yeah. I played pretty much everything as a kid. And the two sports that I took seriously were football and basketball, but I quit football in seventh grade because my knees hurt too much.
PI: What made you fall in love with basketball?
KB: It was just a sport that was put in my hands since I was like three years old. So just knowing that, that was like what I did, like as a kid going up, I knew that I wanted to be a basketball player and have a future in it.
PI: What are your current measurements?
KB: I am 6’8, 6’11 wingspan, 205 lbs.
PI: For those that aren’t super familiar with your game — what are your greatest strengths?
KB: I’ll say I'm a defensive player. I get my teammates involved and I can drive, cut, move without the ball easily. And I’m kind of like a playmaker. I like to get my teammates involved first and then let the game come to me.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
KB: Yeah, I'm trying to improve on everything. My whole game needs work to get to the highest level. And I’m just mostly working on my jump shot right now. I need to perfect that as well as a lot of other things.
PI: What are some underrated parts of your game you feel you don’t get enough credit for?
KB: I would say my passing. I can really see the floor and I have a good IQ to see when people are open so that’s some of my passing.
PI: Who do you model your game after and try to study on film?
KB: I like to watch a lot of Jaylen Brown and Kawhi Leonard — mostly those two.
PI: Do you have a particular training regimen?
KB: Yeah, I’ve been kind of resetting my form. So I always do this form shooting now because changing your jump shot is really hard, especially when you just shoot it a way for a certain time. So I just do that a lot and when I'm at home, just practice it to get used to it.
PI: Describe this past season with Sunrise Christian Academy. What was it like going to GEICO Nationals?
KB: It was a great season. All glory to God that we could have a season and actually play games. I know some people didn't, but we had high expectations. Getting Kennedy [Chandler], people assumed us as a number-one team so we had a target on our back the whole season. And then just, it was a great year, playing against the top teams and coming up short in the championship to a good Montverde team, but I wouldn't want it any other way.