ETBU senior point guard Landin Brown has used his time on the basketball court to figure out what he’s going to do off it.
“Use basketball,” he said when asked what he’s learned from the game. “Don’t let basketball use you. Use basketball to inspire or find your purpose in life. I know in basketball, you travel from different states, different countries and learn different things. Basketball is a sport you won’t be playing for the rest of your life, so use basketball as a resource to find your calling.”
Brown, a kinesiology major, discovered his calling to coach the game when his playing days come to an end.
“I probably knew (that I wanted to coach) in high school and playing AAU ball, just seeing how much the coaches have an impact on me,” Brown explained. “I want to have that same impact on others. I love working with the youth. I believe that’s my calling, so I was like, ‘Why not coach? I’m good at the sport. I can instill value and hope into the students.’ I’ve been around the game so much so why not give back? My experiences and my takes on things, I think it would be useless not to give it back and show what I’ve learned from it.”
Brown got first-hand experience student teaching and coaching.
“I was doing my student teaching there at the high school (Marshall High School),” Brown said. “It was pretty fun doing my lesson plans and I got to work with coach (Bobby) Carson. I got to help coach the JV and varsity practices and things like that but also I did girls PE. That was different. I also did some student teaching at Hallsville Intermediate School and that was with fourth and fifth grade. I really enjoyed that because they look up to you then being a coach.
“There are a lot of students at Marshall High School who don’t have a solid parent foundation, so I wanted to give them encouragement to keep pushing, persevering, see it through, no matter what the circumstance is, you can be great,” Brown continued. “You can be successful. I’m just trying to extend those values in those students because some of them get down on themselves. My biggest thing is to get to know them, care for them. I had one teacher tell me that no student cares how much you know until they know how much you care. That was a big key. I was just trying to care for them as much as possible and show them that no matter what they’re going through, there’s light by their side. That was my biggest thing at Marshall and Hallsville.”
Carson has told Brown if he wants it, a coaching position will be available but the senior point guard will likely wait as he has another year of eligibility with the Tigers after being injured last season.
“He does have another year of eligibility so that is a huge thing,” said ETBU men’s head basketball coach Brandon Curran, who believes Brown is the best point guard in the American Southwest Conference and one of the best in the country for Division III basketball.
“Well first of all, he’s an incredible leader and an incredible young man,” Curran said of Brown. “He has been a starting point guard for us for all four years that he’s been in the program. He’s the spiritual leader for our team and he sets the tone academically.
“He has elite speed,” Curran continued. “His vision is very good and he disrupts everything defensively. He’s all over the place, making rotations and making saves and rebounding. He’s just a really good player.”
Curran admits he didn’t initially expect Brown to be the Tigers’ starting point guard.
“When we originally signed him, we thought he might be in our developmental program,” Curran said. “He won the starting point guard job and gave us a great pace to our offense and was a really good defender and we just knew that he was the guys.
“He comes from a great high school program at Langham Creek. Their coach does a great job and is a great friend of mine.”
Brown’s expectations go beyond what happens on the court and he hopes to use this year and his extra year of eligibility to leave a long-lasting mark with his teammates.
“After I leave, I want them to know it’s about more than basketball,” Brown said. “I want them to know I care for them. We’re brothers. We’re here as a group, as a community to empower and spread the gospel, to make Jesus’ name known.
“I want them to take in that they are loved. That they are cared for and after basketball is over, they have a God who cares for them.
“I also want them to know they have a group of guys that cares for them too.”
Brown and his Tigers are scheduled to play host to Hardin-Simmons today at 3 p.m.