Todd Brown is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Canton, Ohio that is starting his fifth professional season and first in Germany with Phoenix Hagen. He started his basketball career in 2006 with Wright State(NCAA) where he played until 2010 playing a total of 129 NCAA games and as a senior played 32 games: 12.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 41.6%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 73.6%. In 2010-2011 he started his professional basketball career for DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-DBL, starting five): 39 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 73.7%. In 2011-2012 he played for WBC Raiffeisen Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga, starting five): 36 games: 15.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.6apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 56.2%, 3PT: 39.5%, FT: 80.1%. In the 2012-2013 season he played for Mineros de Cananea (Mexico-CIBACOPA): 9 games: 17.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 17.1%, FT: 85.0%. Last season he played for Lappeenranta NMKY (Finland-Korisliiga, starting five): 42 games: Score-2(22.2ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-3(2.0spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 81.6%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Todd thanks for talking to German Hoops. You got signed very late this off season to Phoenix Hagen. How was the overall experience this season for you looking for a new team? Were you a bit nervous at the end about catching on somewhere?
The overall experience was good. I had interest from different teams, and I trust my agent so I spend my summers enjoying family and friends.
Welcome to Germany. You will play for Phoenix Hagen. What were the magical words from head coach Ingo Freyer that made you want to come to this team?
Really wasnt any magical words that got me to sign, it was more the challenge I enjoy competition and seeing how I compare to other players. And I like the Hagen style of play.
What do you know about the Germany as a country and its basketball? You have ex teammates from college that have played here and opponents you had from other countries.
I have a few friends that have played in Germany so I know some things but it’s nothing like actually living at a place and getting the experience.
After playing in lower leagues like Holland, Austria and Finland, you now will have the chance to prove that you can play in a top league like the Beko BBL. Are you ready for the challenge?
I feel I am ready for the challenge. I have been playing at a high level all my life. My high school team was one of the best in the nation. And went on to play Division 1 basketball, so God willing my game shows it.
Your new teammate Larry Gordon also proved he could play in the Beko BBL after having played in Holland and Austria. How excited are you to finally be teammates with him and what do you like most about his game?
Larry is a hard worker and before we were even teammates we got along well so hopefully he can make my transition easier.
Last season you played for Lappeenranta NMKY (Finland-Korisliiga) playing 42 games: Score-2(22.2ppg), 6.3rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-3(2.0spg), FGP: 49.1%, 3PT: 37.7%, FT: 81.6%. Finland is a league that has helped countless players make the next step like a Ricky Hickman who made it all the way to Macabbi Tel Aviv winning the Euroleague last season. How important was your season in Finland and what did this experience give your game to make the next step now in Germany?
Last year in Finland was a very important season because I came off a knee injury and fought my way back to a pro level. So while I was going through my therapy with my knee my mentality changed about basketball and I believe for the better.
The scouting report on you is very positive. You are a pure scorer that can fill up the stats sheets. However what do you believe is a strength in your game that doesn´t always get noticed right away on the court and remains off the radar?
I think a talent of mine that may not get noticed often is my basketball IQ. I take pride in knowing the game and reading situations while I am playing. It makes the game a little easier for me I think.
You had a very solid rookie season at DeFriesland Aris Leeuwarden (Holland-DBL) playing 39 games: 14.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 52.5%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 73.7%. What was your wake up call as a rookie where you knew that you had landed as a professional in Europe?
My rookie year I had a great coach in Pete Miller. He kept me focused and he believed in me and we had vets on that team but he and my team trusted me in big situations.
In the 2011-2012 season you played for WBC Raiffeisen Wels (Austria-A Bundesliga) with ex Phoenix Hagen player Quentin Pryor. It doesn´t really get any more intense than with Q. Does He rank up in your top 3 hardest competitors that you have ever played with?
Me and Q still talk to this day, I loved being on the same team with him, because I always knew what I was going to get from him and we worked well on the court together.
It seems like everyone has their Dashaun Wood story. Vaughn Duggins remembers that in practice that Wood would tell him how he would score against his opponent on the next play and beat him 9/10 times in one on one as he was a freshman. What was your Dashaun Wood story as a freshman?
Me and D.Woods were roommates on road trips and the thing I remember most is before games he would turn on cartoons and turn the heat on high and take a shower. He loved SpongeBob lol so if that was on I knew he was going to have a good game. But he plays with something to prove every night.
Ex players that played at Wright State continue to marvel about head coach Billy Donlon.How did he prepare you best for a professional basketball career? Do you ever think back and agree that his words really did help you as a professional?
Coach Donlon is a gym rat and he prepared me more for pro than he did college because he wasnt the head coach at the time but he taught us so many moves and little tricks that would give us the advantage against any one he played and he was so passionate about the game.
You played 4 seasons of NCAA basketball. You played against so many great players, but who was the toughest player that you had to guard that is in the NBA now?
In college I would have to say Isaiah Thomas played him my senior year. I had 20 something that game he had like 30 off free throws because he was so crafty.
You are one of very many very skilled players that come from the state of OHIO. Why do so many good players come from the State? Is it only the good youth development or is there something special in the food there? Lol
I think good players come from Ohio because high school sports mean a lot to people, in my city of Canton,Ohio high school sports in everything.
You got a psychology degree at Wright State. How much has this degree helped you understand the mental aspect of the game of basketball better?
I think my psychology help me not be so hard on myself in big situations, just look at it as its just basketball no ones life depends on the shot or the game all you can really do is your best. But if it goes wrong I am still very angry lol . I dont like to lose. So I dont know if it helps much lol.
How often have you been in the NFL Hall Of Fame? What memorabilia do you stand next to most in that building?
The pro football Hall Of Fame is on my high school campus so I have been a lot. Hall of fame weekend is big in my city, Canton comes alive during that week.
Lebron James is returning home to the Cavs. Where will the journey of this NBA team go in the next few years with much youth on board and the best basketball player on the planet on the team?
The Cavs or any team with Lebron James becomes a front runner for the championship.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
Last DVD was He got game, best player to ever play the game is Jesus Shuttlesworth.
Thanks for the chat Todd.