HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University men’s basketball redshirt-senior John Brown has been named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, one of the most prestigious honors awarded in all of college athletics.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The award is given out annually in 10 NCAA sports.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
The list of 30 candidates for men’s basketball will be narrowed to 10 finalists in February, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplify excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four® in Houston.
Brown is the second HPU player to be nominated for the award. Former High Point standout Allan Chaney also garnered the recognition during the 2013-14 season.
2015-16 Men’s Basketball Senior CLASS Award Candidates
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
John Brown, High Point University
Kyle Collinsworth, BYU
Rapheal Davis, Purdue
Perry Ellis, Kansas
Obi Emegano, Oral Roberts
Phil Forte, Oklahoma State
Chris Fowler, Central Michigan
Mike Gesell, Iowa
Shaq Goodwin, Memphis
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Peter Hooley, Albany
Amile Jefferson, Duke
Cedric Kuakumensah, Brown
Egidijus Mockevicius, Evansville
Nic Moore, SMU
Georges Niang, Iowa State
Ethan O’Day, Vermont
Marcus Paige, North Carolina
Alex Poythress, Kentucky
James Robinson, Pittsburgh
Justin Sears, Yale
Shavon Shields, Nebraska
Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State
Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin
Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga
JOHN BROWN CANDIDATE PROFILE
Raised by his maternal grandmother and single mother, Brown navigated a difficult childhood in Jacksonville, Fla., where he resisted the temptation of drugs and alcohol. His father was in prison for most of his youth. Brown did not pick up a basketball until his junior year of high school. He had to redshirt his freshman year due to NCAA academic rule, and he enrolled at HPU but could not practice or workout with the team. He worked out in the gym late at night with only his girlfriend there to rebound for him while striving hard in class to become eligible.
Brown has faced much adversity in his life. His grandmother died during his freshman year, then in 2014-15, his mother died suddenly in the middle of the season. He flew down to pay his respects, then flew up to Virginia the day of the game for HPU’s game at James Madison. He scored a game-high 24 points to lead HPU to the road win, then collapsed in grief in the locker room. He now is primarily responsible for providing a life for his 6-year-old brother now that his grandmother and mother have passed on. Brown is looking to play professional basketball to support his brother, but once he’s done with basketball, he wants to be a motivational speaker to help kids in tough neighborhoods overcome the adversity he faced as a kid. Despite battling so much adversity, he is an extremely positive person with an engaging personality and great sense of humor.
John Brown’s story is a bit different than most when it comes to academic achievement. He was given some poor advice in high school in regards to classes and his transcript that put him far behind in required credits heading into his freshman year at High Point. As a partial qualifier, Brown worked incredibly hard to become eligible while practicing and working out by himself, as he could not participate in team activities. Brown worked tirelessly to complete required courses and has performed solidly in the classroom ever since. He is on track to graduate in 2016 with a degree in human relations, which he plans to use to serve as a motivational speaker and help children with difficult circumstances once his basketball career is over.
Brown serves as motivational speaker and lead instructor when HPU men’s basketball team visits inner-city schools and after-school programs throughout the year, teaching basketball skills and offering life advice. He also reads to students at Kirkman Park Elementary School throughout the season. In 2013, he served as a part of the HPU Habitat for Humanity contingent that built a house in High Point. He helps serve food to the less fortunate at Open Door Ministries in High Point and assists with HPU men’s basketball’s participation in the Salvation Army Stuff-a-Stocking program each holiday season. Brown also is a candidate for the 2016 AllState NABC Good Works Team.
Brown leads all active Division I players in field goals made (777) and is ranked second in the nation in career scoring (2,026 career points). He was one of only two returning Division I players to enter the season with 1,500 points and 600 rebounds and is the only player in Big South history to post at least 2,000 career points, 700 rebounds, 150 blocks, 150 steals and 150 assists. A 2016 Julius Erving Award candidate (given to the nation’s top small forward), Brown also is a mid-season candidate for the Lou Henson Award, given to the nation’s top mid-major player.
This season, Brown ranks fourth in the nation in offensive efficiency, behind only Michael Young (Pittsburgh), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma) and Denzel Valentine (Michigan State). He ranks in the top-50 nationally in 2015-16 in field goals made (131), free throws made (84), blocked shots (39), field goal percentage (.580) and scoring (19.2 ppg).
He paces the Panthers this season in scoring, rebounding (7.2 rpg), field goal percentage, blocks and steals (1.6 spg). Brown also is averaging a career-best 2.3 assists per game and shooting 72 percent from the free throw line.
He was named AP All-America Honorable Mention and the Big South Player of the Year in 2014. He is a three-time NABC All-District pick and one of only 22 players nationally to be named to two-straight All-District First Teams (2014, 2015).
Brown was named the 2013 Big South Freshman of the Year and a 2013 Kyle Macy Freshman All-American. He has led HPU to three-straight regular season conference titles, as well as the program’s first NIT berth in 2014 and first ever post-season win (CIT) in 2015.
Brown led HPU to program records for wins (23), Big South wins (13), road wins (9) and Big South road wins (6) in 2014-15. An electric player, Brown has appeared on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Plays 10 times since 2012-13 with his gravity-defying dunks. He was named the nation’s top dunker by Jay Bilas in 2015.
Since the stat has been kept for college players (2009-10), Brown has the second-best career PER of the more than 10,000 players that have competed in Div. I college basketball. Brown is second only to Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets/Morehead State) and ranks ahead of top-10 PER players Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets/Indiana), Jared Sullinger (Boston Celtics/Ohio State) and Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls/Creighton).