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By MIKE SANDROLINI
PROVISO | Sterling Brown indicated during his senior year at SMU that he wanted to play pro ball. It appears as if the Milwaukee Bucks will be giving him that opportunity.
Brown, who starred for head coach Donnie Boyce at Proviso East during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, was picked during the second round of last week’s NBA Draft. The Philadelphia 76ers—Proviso West product, Robert Covington, is a member of the Sixers squad—selected Brown with the 46th overall pick but traded Brown’s rights to the Bucks, who hired a new general manager, John Horst, just a few days before the draft.
Brown played and started most of his four years at SMU. He and teammate Ben Moore, an Illinois native who prepped at Bolingbrook, left the program as the two winningest players in SMU history. Another teammate, small forward Semi Ojeleye, who led SMU in scoring last season, was picked in the second round as well. Boston chose Ojeleye with the 37th overall pick.
Three-point shooters are always in strong demand in the NBA, and Brown proved he could nail the three at SMU. He shot around 45 percent from behind the arc during his junior and senior seasons. His size also is a nice intangible for a guard. Brown stands 6-6 and has a wingspan of 6-10. Brown is seen as an insurance policy in case Milwaukee guard-forward Tony Snell, a former Chicago Bull, signs an offer sheet with another team this summer.
Interestingly, if Brown makes the team, he’ll be teammates with often-injured Bucks star Jabari Parker. Brown and Parker faced off in the 2012 Class 4A state championship game. Simeon, Parker’s high school team, defeated Proviso East 50-48 for the title, but Brown outscored Parker 25-15 in the game. The loss was East’s only defeat of the year.
Unfortunately, Parker will be out of the Bucks’ lineup when the season begins. He tore his left ACL for the second time in three seasons last February. Prior to the injury, Parker was averaging just over 20 points per game. When he suffered the injury, he was expected to be out at least a year.
Sterling, whom the Bucks brought in for a pre-draft workout, is following in the footsteps of his older brother, Shannon Brown, who played for several NBA teams—including a brief stint with the Bulls in 2008.
Paris Lee, Sterling Brown’s teammate at Proviso East, was not drafted by an NBA team. Last winter’s Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Lee, an Illinois State product, was not picked up by an NBA club to play on a summer league roster. He did have a pre-draft workout with the Houston Rockets.
3 NEW VARSITY COACHES AT PROVISO WEST
Basketball has been in the forefront lately at Proviso West, which has named new head coaches for its boys and girls varsity teams.
Proviso West Athletic Director Calvin Davis said that Anthony Longstreet will be the boys basketball coach, replacing Michael Ingram, who coached the team for the past three seasons.
Terriel Cannon is the new girls basketball coach. Cannon succeeds Marques Hatch, who took the head coaching job at Triton Junior College.
Longstreet, a longtime head coach in the Chicago Public League, sported a 268-100 record in 13 seasons at Crane. He also coached at Manley for three years—two as an assistant. While at Crane, Longstreet led the team to the Elite Eight in 2005 and a Chicago city championship in 2003. Three players that Longstreet coached have played in the NBA: Will Bynum (Golden State, Detroit and Washington), Tony Allen (Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies) and Sherron Collins (Charlotte).
Cannon , a coach at Proviso West for the past six years, served as the girls sophomore coach last season. She was a former all-West Suburban Conference player for the Panthers and attended Northern Illinois on a basketball scholarship.
Davis also announced that Nelson Rodriguez is the new head football coach. Rodriguez was the defensive coordinator at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago, which has made the IHSA playoffs six consecutive seasons. Last year, the Grizzlies went 8-2, won the Heartland Conference championship, advanced to the CPS semifinals and also to the Class 5A state playoffs.
All three coaches will be featured in separate stories during the upcoming weeks.