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Shannon Brown: Strength Ambition and Motivation

Interviewed and written by Tocarrra Eldridge

Shannon Brown, it seems approaches basketball the way most fans would think he would – devoting to bettering himself, supporting youth organizations, remaining humble despite clearly possessing undeniable athletic ability and not taking anything for granted because his road to the NBA was quite bumpy and uncertain at times. Along the route, Brown faced many challenges and obstacles on and off the court. From as a young teenager losing his 14 year old cousin to a senseless shooting, to a close friend of Brown’s getting killed while attending Proviso East High School (located in his hometown of Maywood, IL), to eventually losing yet another childhood friend while a student at Michigan State University, he continued to persevere.

Brown nearly found himself out of the NBA before he actually got a chance to get started due to a series of D-League demotions. However, through all of Brown’s obstacles and adversities, he chose to take his challenges head on, enabling him to pursue his goals. Although, often wondering why he was not getting the opportunity he desired, Brown never gave up hope, and always believed in himself and his ability to play the game. After bouncing between five NBA teams in his first several seasons in the league, Brown landed a home in Los Angeles with the Lakers.

Humbleness and appreciation for Brown’s abilities are certainly praiseworthy, as he has a natural God-given ability to dunk. He continues to work diligently on all aspects of his game. It’s this unquestioning devotion to improve his skills that’s helped Brown blossom into one of the league’s bright young talents. However, it's his commitment to getting better that is most commendable. He provides ridiculous takeoffs from the paint leaving the crowd in awe as he makes thunderous dunks. Nevertheless, Brown wants to be categorized as much more than simply a dunker when it's all said and done. From destroying opposing defenders everywhere on the floor to adding his offensive spark when needed, Brown remains hungry to get better. He is truly a great asset on the court.

I [Consciousness Magazine] had the privilege to catch up with the young and vibrant L.A. Laker, Shannon Brown, at the Wood Stars Festival, where he teamed up with Michael Finley to put on a fun and entertaining family oriented event. It was a pleasure to sit and chat with the high-flying guard as he calmly welcomed my interview.

Tocarra Eldridge: What obstacles have you faced as a player in the NBA?
Shannon Brown: It’s a lot of obstacles you go through. There are a lot of guys, a lot of veterans to compete with… all fighting for the same goal. You just got to maintain being positive and continue trying to get better. That’s the main thing.

[Many fail to realize that Brown’s road to the NBA was not an easy path. He went through several D-League demotions, before finally beating the odds and becoming a solid NBA player, now holding two NBA championship rings.]

TE: As a well recognized franchise, you guys [Los Angeles Lakers] always bring the best out of your opponents. Tell us what it’s like being a member of this Los Angeles Lakers team? 
SB: Well, we got the second most championships in history. Being a Laker – each night you step out on the court, the opponents give you their best. So, it’s a big challenge! You get to play against the best of the best. All I can say is I’m blessed to be apart of it all. It’s a great feeling to be a Laker. It’s amazing!

TE: What is it like having Kobe Bryant as a teammate?
SB: It’s great! I’ve learned a lot from him. He teaches me a lot…on and off the court. He’s a great teammate; he’s a great person.

[When Brown was traded from Charlotte to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, Kobe Bryant was the first Lakers player to give Shannon an official warm welcome to the team.]

TE:Outside of you collaborating with Michael Finley to present the Wood Stars Summer Carnival and Music Festival, what other things do you do in the community?
SB: I throw a camp in July that’s free for the kids, promoting fitness and teamwork. We feed them; we teach them basketball skills, teach them about mental health and physical health. We just have them come out and have a great time. At the end of the camp we give them trophies and prizes…just to try and keep them motivated. It’s for a great cause.

TE: What advice would you give to the youth whose goal is to become a professional basketball player?
SB: Just keep working at it! Whether it is basketball, singing, rapping, etc., just work hard at it. That’s what it takes. Just go to school and keep your head in the books.

TE: Thank you so much for the interview Shannon.
SB: No problem.