“I am looking to play whomever, wherever to get that top spot.”
Greg Brown III, currently 13th on ESPN and 8th on 247 Sports for the class of 2020, isn’t shy when it comes to his ultimate goal of being the top player in his class. An explosive 6’8” combo forward with the vision and basketball IQ to make the game slow down, it’s in no way difficult to believe he could reach that goal. The Gators offered Brown this past weekend, getting in on a list of offers including Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor, and perhaps most notably Brown’s hometown University of Texas.
Brown is the kind of player any team could use and one that Florida coach Mike White would love to work into his free flowing offense and pressure defense. Whether it’s rebounding in traffic, flushing a ball in transition, or shaking a player for a pull-up midrange jumper, Brown is a player that not only is capable of doing it all but has the desire to do anything it takes to win even when it’s not glamorous.
I had the opportunity to talk with him about his basketball journey and what drives him to be the best. Here is my interview with Greg Brown III.
EF: Hey Greg, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today! You’re an incredibly versatile player who can play all kinds of roles from the inside to the perimeter. Is there an NBA player you might compare yourself to or one that you model your game after?
GB: Yes, Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett.
EF: From one of the best scorers of all time in Durant to one of the best defenders of all time in Garnett, I can see why you try to emulate those guys. Both of those players were involved with USA Basketball, something you’ve already had the chance to do in your basketball career. What has it meant to you to be a part of something as prestigious as USA Basketball?
GB: It has been a great honor to be selected as one of the few to compete for a roster spot.
EF: Absolutely, that is a very special honor. You come from an athletic family with your father being a former NFL player, your uncle being a former professional basketball player, and your grandfather being a former division 1 football player. How has having those influences helped you in your athletic career?
GB: It has helped me a lot because all three have knowledge as to what it takes to help me get to the next level.
EF: That is a lot of valuable knowledge they’d have, that’s for sure. With that much football in your family, how would you be on the gridiron if you never ended up playing basketball?
GB: Probably decent, but I just consume the dog they have in them from the football field and try and implement that same thought process on the basketball court.
EF: You definitely play with that football toughness on the basketball court, that’s for sure. Another thing that really strikes me when I watch you play is your willingness to pass the ball, something you don’t always see from a player with your size and skill level. Where did that unselfishness with the ball come from?
GB: Always watching and admiring LeBron James and constantly being reminded by my dad and uncle to get my teammates involved and make a play, whether for my teammates or myself.
EF: The way you help elevate the game for your teammates is apparent. You’re known as a guy who works tirelessly on his game. What’s a skill you maybe weren’t confident in a year ago that you worked on and now feel is a strength, or close to being a strength?
GB: Shooting is what I continue to work on daily. I was really good when I was younger and then in 7th grade I had to raise my shot up as advised by John Lucas and with that I struggled for a while and it is now coming back to where it was.
EF: With your work ethic, I’m sure the shooting will come back quickly. On all the recruiting outlets you’re a top 15 player in the 2020 class and have been knocking at the door of the top 5 for some time. Would you like to see your hard work rewarded with a top 5 recruiting ranking by the time things are said and done or are recruiting rankings just noise to you that you don’t think about?
GB: I am honestly going for that #1 spot in the 2020 class. Since I began my dad and I have always sought out whomever is supposed to be that guy and we try set up the matchup if they are not scared. So with that being said, I am looking to play whomever, wherever to get that top spot.
EF: Lots of players pretend they don’t look at recruiting rankings but I’m certain most do so it’s refreshingly honest of you to say that and I love the mindset of winning any matchup you need to on your way to that #1 spot. Greg, the Gators see you as a player they could prominently feature on the wing. In your college decision how important is it for you to be “the guy” on the roster and what else are you looking for in a program?
GB: I just want to win first of all and contribute in any way possible to help my team WIN. I am looking to go somewhere that will give me the opportunity to WIN, play with other good players, and contribute to an NCAA Championship!
EF: I hope you reach your goals wherever you decide! Greg, thanks so much for letting me take so much of your time today for an interview. I really appreciate it. I just have one final question. I once read you got 18 blocks in a single game. First of all, how does that happen (laughs), and second of all, do you think you could put up 10 one day in a college game?
GB: (laughs) We played a team that had small guards that kept bringing it into the lane as I kept sending it into the stands! It was my first and only high school triple-double which was exciting. I think college players are a little smarter than to keep the same unsuccessful thing over and over again, but if not, then sure.
EF: (laughs) Well I hope there are more triple-doubles for you to come, and I’ll be watching for that shot blocking ability whenever I watch you play because I know you take pride in that area. Greg, thank you so much for your time and have a great rest of your AAU season!
You can follow Greg Brown on Twitter at @gb3elite.