Brown Has Delivered

Jabari Brown

The AAU basketball season is all about exposure for every athlete hoping to earn a college scholarship, but few – if any – have enjoyed the success in 2010 of Jabari Brown.

A 6-foot-5 shooting guard who entered the spring with a reputation for making things happen off the bounce, Jabari Brown's stock virtually exploded in recent months as he made a case for himself as one of the top perimeter shooters in the Class of 2011.

With the first evaluation period of summer underway, many of college basketball's elite coaches lined the gym at the Nike Peach Jam from July 12-15 in North Augusta, S.C., to catch a glimpse of the talented guard in action.

"I think I've had a real good summer individually," Brown said. "I've gotten a lot of new looks, and I just want to win these next two tournaments and go out with a bang."

It doesn't hurt that he is a key component of what is arguably the most talent-laden AAU squad in the country – the Drew Gooden Soldiers. Hailing from Brown's hometown of Oakland, Calif. the Soldiers' lineup also boasts the likes of Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley, Kyle Wiltjer and Kiwi Gardner.

Though the Soldiers bowed out of the Peach Jam – which acted as the championship event of Nike's inaugural Elite Youth Basketball League – in the first round of tournament play with a loss to the St. Louis Eagles, Brown said he takes pride in what the team has accomplished at this point in the AAU season.

"I think we've done real well," he said. "We've established ourselves as one of the best teams in the country."

As one might expect, the level of interest in Brown among college recruiters has skyrocketed recently, with some of the sport's banner programs now vying for his services.

The list of contenders currently stands at 12 schools: Washington; Kansas; UCONN; Georgetown; Georgia Tech; St. John's; Maryland; Wake Forest; Arizona State; California; Stanford and Oregon State. With the exception of Stanford, all have offered scholarships.

One of Brown's most recent offers came from the Kansas Jayhawks, a program in which he maintains a high level of interest for a number of reasons, though it starts with Head Coach Bill Self.

"He's a great coach," Brown said. "He's won championships and he's gotten players to the NBA. It's a great fan base. All I hear about is how crazy the fans are. It's just a great tradition, and ultimately it's a place where I'd have the chance to win championships and play in the NBA (should he pick Kansas)."

One factor that might play a role in his recruitment is his friendship with Soldiers' point guard Josiah Turner. Several of the schools on Brown's list – including Georgia Tech, Kansas and Wake Forest, to name a few – are also recruiting Turner, and the two friends have discussed the possibility of playing together in down the line.

It's unlikely to be a make-or-break component of the recruitment of either elite prospect, Brown explained, but it's something they would like to consider.

"I think we'll both look at it," he said. "I love playing with Josiah. He's a great point guard and we get along real well. But we only have a few schools on the same list. If it happens, I'd definitely be happy about it, but if it doesn't happen I'll still be happy wherever I go, and wish the best for him wherever he goes."

Right now, Brown is just focused on closing out the AAU season in winning fashion, and then enjoying some much-needed time off.

"It's still busy, but you kind of get used to it," he said, of the hectic spring and summer schedule. "I'm definitely looking forward to getting a few weeks to relax and recover, and focus on my high school season."

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