Jan. 27, 1998
Howard Brown Question and Answer
Q.- How did you begin playing basketball and who introduced you to the sport?
A.-My father introduced me to the sport. Behind my junior high school there used to be some rims up. He and my brother would shoot around. While they were doing there thing, I used to do the underhand shot. Basketball was just a hobby then, when I first started. I didn't play serious until junior high. I was mainly involved in little league baseball and football.
Basketball was just for fun, for playing with my friends. After my sophomore year of high school, I started getting serious about it. Earlier that year, I broke my leg playing football as the quarterback at Pottstown. I missed 13 basketball games that year, but I came back later and we won the state championship. There were scouts there and they started getting me to go to camps like AAU. From then on, I started concentrating on my goals in basketball.
Q.-What made you choose Villanova over all your other choices?
A.-The proximity to where I lived was a big part of the decision. When I came on my visit, it felt like a family atmosphere. All of the players got along with each other. They were close both on and off the court. The coaching staff was also really nice. They seemed really interested in me, so it just felt like this was the best choice for me.
Q.-You came on your recruitment visit with John Celestand. Now the two of you have been roommates and the best of friends for almost three years. What is it that has made the two of you so close both on and off the court?
A.-Our friendship rose from our recruitment visit together. Right away we could tell that we would get along. He is the type of guy that if I was at home, I would still have hung around with him. Whatever we do, we do it together. It's been that way since the beginning. John and I share common goals. We both want to see the program rise up again to where it was. We also both have the hardest of work ethics. Unlike some players, we are best of friends on and off the court.
We are different because he is outspoken and I am laid back, but our differences seem to make it easier to get along. I guess you can say that opposites attract.
Q.-Do you have one moment that stands out in your mind as your top highlight so far in your Villanova career?
A.-My favorite moment was freshman year versus Georgetown when I stuck (Allen) Iverson. I just tried to keep the ball out of his hands. I wanted to get him thinking that once he got the ball, that I was there. He didn't have a point in the entire second half. I marked him pretty well, but I wouldn't say I shut him down. There were five or six times he blew past me, but Jason (Lawson) and Chuck (Kornegay) were right there to help out.
John Celestand had a great game against Georgetown too, with 19 points. Eric Eberz was hurt and I got the start at the Spectrum. John and I watch that tape sometimes and reminisce like old men about what we did freshman year. I didn't score a lot that day, but it was a great feeling for both John and I to step up and help us get a win.
Q.-The 1998 season has been a breakthrough season for you. You are among the team leaders in three-point shooting and you have been one of the team's most consistent players both offensively and defensively. Is your shooting something you have worked on throughout the off-season?
A.-I worked on that everyday this summer, shooting with my cousin Scott Brown. He would meet with me everyday after we got off work. I would shoot about 200 to 250 shots a day. Scott would work with me on both my form and my confidence.
If you shoot a lot and you shoot consistently the same way, you eventually build up your confidence. When I saw my first shots fall at the beginning of the season, it really gave me a boost.
I knew all the hard work was worthwhile. I believe in doing whatever I do as hard as I can, because that is the way you have to do it in the game. You can never let up. Even if I don't have the talent that other players might have, maybe my tenaciousness and work ethic can still get me where I want to go.
Q.-It looks like you are a quiet person on the court, but yet at the same time you are still one of the team's biggest emotional leaders. What are your methods of leadership?
A.-I like to lead by example. I don't always like to take the initiative to talk in the locker room or in the huddle. I have always been that way.
You can know what you are going to do and you can keep saying it; but if you don't go out and do it on the court it doesn't really matter. That is the type of leader Kerry Kittles was and that is the way I prefer the lead.
Q.-What person whether it be a teammate, player, coach or parent has made the biggest impact on you as a basketball player and as a person?
A.-My dad has made the biggest impact on me, but it really doesn't have to do with just basketball. He has always been there supporting me. Lately it has been with basketball, but he has always encouraged me in whatever I did. He has never put any added pressure on my shoulders.
I can play the worst game of my life, and he is still encouraging me finding something that I did well. He has built in me an inner strength, through helping me see his belief in Jesus Christ. It has made me a much stronger person and player. When something went wrong, my dad always told me t pray. I feel like I can endure any adversity that I go through on or off the court. That if I listen to what he has taught me, I will make it through even the toughest times. So the impact he has made on me has nothing to do with making shots. It has to do with an inner toughness he has instilled in me.
Q.-With so many new faces on the team this season (in both players and coaches), has it been a tough adjustment to make?
A.-Obviously we miss the guys we had before, like Jason (Lawson), Alvin (Williams) and Chuck (Kornegay). It is a hard adjustment without them from a leadership standpoint. They always had something to say that we could use on the court. This is the time you look forward to though. With the older guys gone, it is our time to step up and lead. That is why you come to a big-time program.
To pass onto the younger guys the things that Kerry (Kittles), Alvin, Jason and Chuck once passed on to us.