Women’s basketball star returns with new mindset to take the Sun Belt by storm

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  • Alexis Brown (4) put up record numbers last season as a junior.

Michael Smith

Georgia Southern women’s basketball star Alexis Brown hopes to exceed her Second-Team All-Sun Belt billing as the team looks to make a leap forward in the 2019-20 season. 

After scoring the most single season points for an Eagle in 25 years, Brown expects to raise the team’s record in Coach Anita Howard’s first year.

“[The staff has been] teaching me to push myself when I’m tired,” she said. “I used to be afraid to get tired so I could protect myself…I want to be better on both sides of the ball, get my teammates involved, make the right decisions, be a leader.” 

Brown, a senior out of Madison, is a family-first, 5-foot-6 athlete with an instilled competitive drive and insatiable thirst for improvement. When asked about her influences both as an athlete and individual, Brown cited her mother, extended family, teammates, and older brother, former Eagle great Tookie Brown. 

Her brother and mother have been two of her primary motivations. Her mother pushed her and allowed her every opportunity to excel in AAU and high school ball. She always keeps her in mind whenever times get tough as a student athlete.

“She pushed us so hard and she gave up anything to make sure we had success,” she said. “Taking us to tournaments, practice… she didn’t give up on us so we know we gotta give our best for her.” 

In high school, Brown was named Region Player of the Year for her senior performance and was a four-time letterwinner. She notched four First-Team All-Region honors and helped to lead her team to the State Championship with a 28-2 overall record in her last season.

Her brother, Tookie, used basketball as a bonding opportunity and as a chance to pick Alexis up whenever she was down. They always knew they could go to the gym and get shots up whenever they were bored. Ultimately, these practice sessions rewarded her with a scholarship to a Division I school and a path to becoming one of the best athletes that this program has ever seen.

“It’s bigger than me.” 

Her favorite quote isn’t layered in clauses and formalities, extensive repetition or word count- it’s just a simple, understood fact of life from a young, star athlete trying to maximize her gifts and make her family proud. Her teammates rely on her to take the lead on and off the court and Coach Howard recognized her impact on the team as soon as she stepped into Hanner. 

“She’s extremely focused,” Howard said. “She wants to win and she practices like she wants to win…She decided that she wanted to be a strong defensive player and she’s really been putting in the work to elevate her game. She’s not just an offensive threat anymore.”

As Brown enters her senior season she’s had to adjust to her first year without her older brother with her in Statesboro. When Tookie took an opportunity to play in Belgium this summer, he immersed himself into professional basketball and its schedule, meaning Alexis and their family don’t expect to see him until sometime around June of this coming year.

But all told, the selfless scorer just wants the Eagles to improve and showcase the confidence and competitive nature Coach Howard has fostered throughout the offseason by improving on her impressive 2018-2019 averages, creating more memories as great as her career-high 34-point outburst against Troy, and represent her family with pride.

Michael Smith, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu