Andy Brown's senior year at Mater Dei High School was cut short due to an ACL tear in January. Ten months later, Brown suffered the same injury on the first day of official practice and sat out the year as a medical redshirt. He then tore his ACL a third time last August in a preseason workout.
Finally cleared to resume basketball activities, Brown made his collegiate debut when he checked in for the final nine seconds of Stanford's 82-67 win over Oklahoma State on Nov. 23 in the Preseason NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden. On Jan. 14 in an 84-64 rout of Colorado, Brown took the court at Maples Pavilion for the first time, grabbing one rebound and knocking down the first of two free throws for his first collegiate point in three minutes of action.
When asked in his postgame press conference about Brown, head coach Johnny Dawkins offered the following: "I was so excited for Andy. Talk about perseverance. He's great for our guys and gives them a big lift, to see what he does in practice. Andy's spirit is in us. What he has done the last three years, the sacrifices he has made, we're just very proud of him."
THE STUDENT on...
Tell us a bit about your major.
"I'm very interested in the major itself and classes that are offered within the major, covering themes such as social media and social technology. Thinking about how we interact with each other. I have two more classes to take and will then be done with my major. After that, I plan to apply for my Masters in communication during the spring."
Any specific classes that have really sparked your interest?
"My favorite one so far is probably COMM 166, a class called Virtual People. I took that last year, and it was very interesting. The class was based on the development of virtual worlds that have been created by people online. Basically, virtual realities where people are able to create avatars and interact with each other. It's very interesting to see those advances in technology. Now people are actually meeting in virtual worlds online. I was also able to participate in experiments where we put on virtual reality headgear and actually succumb into another world."
Now in your third year on campus, do you ever reflect on how your career has progressed in the classroom compared to basketball?
"I've loved every minute of my time here at Stanford. Obviously, I wish I could have played during my freshman and sophomore years, but academics are more important than athletics in my eyes and that's how I was raised. It's definitely a plus to be on track with my academics, and now hopefully my basketball career can get started at this point."
You've appeared in two games so far, both of which had to be different experiences. The video interview below from FSN's spring edition of "Runnin' With The Pac" is a must-see for those hearing your story for the first time.
"In New York, it was just nice to actually be in a jersey for once on this team. I just sort of stood there, but it was a nice feeling. A feeling I had not experienced in a long time; to feel like a basketball player again. Being able to play in the game against Colorado was also great. I had not played in a game since January of 2009, so to grab a rebound and actually score- that was a good feeling for me. It showed the hard work and rehab paid off, because the last three years had been a tough time for me. It was an awesome feeling to get into a game and put my name in the books."
Fast forward to your Maples Pavilion debut against Colorado on Jan. 14. Describe your emotions at these moments... Checking in at the scorer's table:
"Excited and relieved. I had been playing in practice for the last month or so, and to finally do it against another team was great." First time you touched the ball:
"I got trapped, so I was kind of scared. I think a Colorado player touched the ball and it went out of bounds, then Coach Dawkins called timeout and we ran a play. It's hard to put into words, because a lot of people haven't been through what I have." Seconds before shooting your first free throw:
"Extremely nervous. It was a little interesting for me to come into a game and not be warm. Once I made the first one, I was really happy. I probably didn't focus on the second one as much as I should have." The ball in your hands as time expired:
"That was great. It was cool I was able to end the game that way. It kind of gave me some hope; that I might be able to continue this and start getting into more games."
Against Colorado, practically everyone in the building was encouraging you to put up a shot even though the game had already been decided.
"Yeah, I don't consider myself a selfish player. In high school during my freshmen year when I would be playing at the end of games, my coaches would be yelling at me trying to get me to shoot it. I don't want to do things out of the offense. I don't really care much about trying to score. I just want to be out there helping my team build a bigger lead."