Milen Brown is a 28 year old 191cm guard from Springfield Missouri that will be playing in Germany this season for Regionaliga team BBC Bayreuth and who has had experience playing ball in the States as he started his basketall career at Bacone College (NAIA) and as a senior averaged 13,2ppg, 6,2rpg and 4,5apg. He led the Bacone team to a conference championship and a trip to play at the nationals. After finishing school, he signed in the Minor leagues with ABA team Texas Rimrockers and played there two seasons. He really didn’t need any time to adjust to the professional level as in his two seasons there, he averaged 17.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.8apg. Brown made a very good impression there as his spirit and athletcism really sparked his team each night out on the court. It seemed like after two strong seasons in the ABA, the American might be able to make the next step and possibly get signed in Europe, but then he suffered a major set back in his life off the court. He lost his little brother to a car accident and then he just lost touch with basketball for a time as coping with the loss of his loved one took a great toll on his body and mind. There were times where he thought about giving up basketball to restart his life elsewhere, but his love for the game and drive to always get better were greater than that little voice inside him that kept doubting his basketball dream. Brown stepped back on the court again and tried his first attempt of landing in europe with a French team, but that didn’t work out, so he stayed in the states and played for the Springfield Thrill in the UBL and played two seasons averaging 27.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 4.3 apg. In 2014 the American moved to Orlando, Florida on account of his wife getting a job there and he continued to play professionally with the South Florida Spartans of the CBDL and there he averaged 17.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.1 apg. The first time in France didn’t work out, but he has gotten a second chance with BBC Bayreuth. Brown was recommended to BBC Bayreuth Head coach Darko Mihajlovic who developed Fraport Skyliner national player Johannes Vogtmann in Jena and was impressed by Brown after seeing film. Brown now at the age of 28 can finally show his abilities at a different stage in Germany and knows that now its really time to do work, because he knows that not every player gets that second chance and that it isn’t self evident. The American is thrilled about joining BBC Bayreuth. “I joined BBC Bayreuth because I still believe in my talent and ability to shoot the rock from long range. Nothing has ever been given to me with basketball, I’ve earned or went to take it. My goal is to stay this time overseas by any means necessary by being a team player and coachable on both ends of the floor”, stressed Milen Brown . One thing is for sure his little brother will be watching from above whenever Milen is playing in Germany this season. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Milen thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
No problem Miles, I’m currently in Orlando, FL at the moment, my summer has been a roller coaster with trying to figure out where my life is going at 28. I was in the process of becoming a sheriff but thought I’d give myself one last shot at basketball and thankful for God that it worked out.
One thing I noticed about you is that you have a lot of fans or at least people that really care about you. This can´t only have to do with your ability, but this must also have to do with your character. Have you always been a popular guy in your life?
Since being a star in high school I’ve kind of been on the popular side at least the right peopleMy character hasn’t always been the best but these last few years life has humbled me into a better sibling, husband and most of all a better son of God.
I brought the story yesterday that you will start your overseas career in Germany with BBC Bayreuth. You fly over Monday. How excited are you to be making this adventure?
I’m very excited for this new journey in my life. Everything that I’ve been through these last 3 years have prepped me for this moment.
Talk a little how the contact came about with BBC Bayreuth? You had no real ties to Germany. I guess networking and internet can come in handy at times when looking for a job?
I basically just shot out some emails with my player profile and film. It was tough the first week but as the summer went I kept getting many replies, I chose the one that had the best situation that suited my life right now that could possibly set up my future.
Despite being 28 and playing in the minor leagues in the States do you feel a bit like an older kind of rookie coming to Germany?
Your only as old as you feel. I don’t feel any certain way, there are many of us that will go through life not getting opportunities to do what we love. I’m just blessed to be in this situation so I don’t consider my age.
You played in the minor leagues in the States the last years like the ABA and UBL. How did these experiences help you mature as a professional even if it was only semi-pro?
It definitely helped me gain more knowledge on the game in every way, whether it was knowing when and where to shoot along with how to break down a structured offense.
What do you know about the country Germany and its basketball there? Do you have any friends playing in Germany
I just know about the food that my wife has told me about. I’ve talked to Kyle Weems who played n Bayreuth and he told me it’s a beautiful country.
There are so many guys like you that have the ability, but never really got a chance outside the States, but you will get it now in Germany. What really has kept you going all these years to go after your basketball dreams? Has the fact that people kept encouraging you that you had the game to play at a higher level?
People have encouraged me all my life but I created the drive to always keep pushing no matter how many no’s I received. I would play in different leagues and open gyms, guys would always ask why aren’t you doing this overseas or the D-League. That question also kept me going to prove that could play on any level if given the chance.
You lost your little brother a few years ago to a car accident. You had a rough period after that, but recovered and kept your basketball dream alive. Has this situation made you stronger as a person on and off the court?
Man it was tough. I felt like the world stood still when I heard the news, even harder to view his body on a table. My blood pressure sky rocketed, instant nose bleed when I saw him lying there. After 2007 with losing my father me and both my brothers had grown really close. We had to be there for each other, so when he died he took a huge part of my heart with him. Definitely has made me a tougher person, I take nothing for granted.
Talk a little about your game? What are your biggest strengthes on the court and what do you do better now that at age 23 on the court?
I have an all around game. Everyone that has played against me knows I can shot, but also post up small guard using back to the basket to score easy buckets. Biggest strength is shooting from anywhere on the floor, what differs from now than at 23 is just knowledge of the game.
What is a hidden strength in your game that doesn´t get noticed right away?
My quickness off the dribble is a shocker. I’m a natural born shooter from long range, I confuse players on how to guard me.
How did Juan Davis prepare and groom you best for a professional basketball career when you were at Bacone?
Coach Davis treated me like family not just as a player. He always preached to go out and take what is not given. I appreciate the love he showed us as individuals.
What is the state of Lebron James in 2015? Will he ever be mentioned in the same breath as a Michael Jordan?
I absolutely hate this comparison Miles. Two different styles of play other than being great at what they do. Lebron is a monster but will never have the killer instinct that MJ had.
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched Into the Woods, my wife watches the movies I normally wouldn’t but for some reason I always end up liking them.
Thanks Milen for the chat.