Georgia Legend Brown Forging New Path
March 6, 2013
When the Southeastern Conference introduces each team’s legend at the 2013 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament this weekend in Duluth, Ga., few will have worked as hard or fought through as much as Kiesha Brown.
After arriving on campus as the high school consensus National Player of the Year, Brown suffered a knee injury eight games into her freshman season. Despite this Brown now reflects on the freshman year she spent creating entertaining free throw routines while her teammates practiced as one of the most positive experiences of her life.
“Ironically my freshman year always stands out to me because we had a really good senior base. Being able to see the leadership that they had and that they had built within themselves in order to compete at a high level, it really gave me a platform for what to do when I became a senior,” Brown said. “As I grew in my years at Georgia we were able to win an SEC Championship, win a championship at the SEC Tournament and participate in the Final Four in 1999. They left a platform and a status of what it takes to be a leader, as an individual and a unit. We were able to see that as freshmen coming up.”
Brown said that she took the experiences and examples of her time at Georgia into her long and successful professional basketball career. While playing for seven WNBA teams and in multiple European countries, Brown’s connection to the University of Georgia and the Lady Bulldog program remains as strong as it ever has been.
“I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best people in the world starting with Coach Landers. We speak even more so now that I’m not playing ball anymore. The phone bill gets kind of expensive when I’m dialing from France,” Brown said laughing. “He’s been very impactful for me and I know I can speak for a lot of young women who have come out of Georgia, he has been more impactful for us as we’ve joined the work force than we ever could have imagined. Being able to call on him for advice, to lean on him as confidant and just to share a joke with Coach has been really invaluable for me with this being my first year out of professional sports.”
Stepping off the court can be a challenging process when basketball has been such a large part of an individual’s life for so long. Brown, however, has already begun transitioning into her post-basketball life with an administrative role at her alma mater, Woodward Academy, in College Park, Ga. She has also expressed an interest in basketball officiating and commentating, things at which she has already begun trying her hand.
“I call it finding my major again. Primarily I’m at Woodward Academy right now, doing a lot of things at Woodward helping them out, I call myself the major freelancer,” she said. “It’s always helpful to be in the administrative side of Woodward Academy. I started officiating, doing that and then I’ve got my hands into some color commentating along the way. It’s all been fun and it’s all be a journey for me trying to find my niche outside of the court with the shoes off.”
After graduating from Georgia in 2001, Brown has kept a close eye on the Lady Bulldogs. With the regular season finished and tournament time about to start Brown said this year’s team, with the large group of senior leadership, has been especially impressive.
“They definitely make the alumni proud. I’ve been to a couple of games and each game I’ve seen a different form of Lady Dog there. That’s an attribute to those girls right now seeing the history and what was before them and wanting to create that same history for themselves and for the girls that are coming in in the future,” Brown said. “Now we have come to a point where we compete every game. I hadn’t seen that in past teams after I left. It’s a joy to watch the girls play now because they play with their heart and they play with an intensity that we had when we played basketball at Georgia and it’s good to see it come back to the forefront.”
Brown will join the Lady Bulldogs at the SEC tournament, which is being held at The Arena at Gwinnett Center from March 6-10. No. 3 seed Georgia begins play at 8:30 p.m. on Friday when it will face either No. 6 seed LSU or No. 11 seed Auburn.