Brown’s determination brings college career

By The Poly Post

The road to become a college basketball player in any division
is never easy, but when you get a late start, it makes it that much
harder.

Such is the case for Tyquan Brown, the starting forward on the
Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team.

Brown, a Bronx, N.Y. native, did not start playing organized
basketball until he was a sophomore in high school.

“I always played sports and liked basketball, but in middle
school I got cut a couple of times,” said Brown. “I knew I was
good, but I didn’t understand why I got cut. In ninth grade my
school didn’t have a team so when we got one a year later, I tried
out, made

it and have just kept getting better.”

Despite the late start, the 6-foot-7-inch senior not only went
on to play college ball, he did so in three different states.

Brown spent his freshman season at Blinn College, a junior
college in Brenham, Texas.

“I had a lot of fun in Texas,” said Brown with a smile. “It’s a
good state and the people are lively in Texas. When I first got
there it wasn’t what I expected. I thought the people were going to
be really country but it ended up being really fun.”

Following his stint in Texas, Brown transferred to Kaskaskia
College, in Illinois, where he was named First-Team All-Region,
First-Team All-Conference and the team’s most valuable player.

“That was a fun and exciting year,” Brown said. “Since that was
my second year [at a junior college] the next step was to go to
Division 1.”

Last season, as a junior, Brown played at a Division 1 school,
UC Riverside, before he decided to transfer and eventually round
out his collegiate career at CPP.

“I didn’t really like what was going on in Riverside,” said
Brown. “I wasn’t into the school or the basketball program.
Adventure-wise, it wasn’t what I was looking for and when I was
done, I knew that it wouldn’t help me in my dream of continuing to
play

basketball, so I transferred.”

According to Brown’s current head coach Greg Kamansky, it did
not take long for the New Yorker to fit in at CPP.

“He has an awesome work ethic,” said Kamansky. “He’s very
confident yet he’s humble at the same time. He’s worked for
everything he’s gotten, and that hard work has enabled him to mesh
very well with the team. They respect him.”

Kamansky added that although it is difficult to develop a player
that will only be with the program for a season, Brown emitted a
certain “something” over the phone that made Kamansky and his staff
believe Brown would be a good fit for the Broncos.

“We saw some highlights of Ty on YouTube from when he was in
[junior college] and he looked really good,” Kamansky said. “So we
called him and he sounded great over the phone. He was very
positive and articulate, and we figured he’d fit well with the
program. A

power forward was what we needed, so we took a chance, and it
worked out.”

So far this season, Brown has started in every game and averages
7.1 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. Brown also leads the
CCAA in defensive rebounds with 5.1 per game.

Despite coming from a Division 1 program, Kamansky said Brown
did not expect to be a starter. Kamansky added that he is more
impressed with how Brown has helped the team evolve.

“I think any number of our players can be starters, but you have
to make decisions that are best for the team,” said Kamansky. “Ty
has a lot of intensity and that’s what we need to start the game.
I’m happier with the minutes he’s put in for us over the fact

that he is a starter.”

Before every game, Brown said he listens to music and visualizes
himself on the court.

“I listen to Nas and Jeezy, Kanye,” said Brown. “I meditate
before the game or while I’m stretching and just let everything go.
Anything that has been bothering me I just forget about it because
as soon as I get on the court it’s time to win.”

Brown credits his high school basketball coach with teaching him
the basic principles of the game, but admitted to developing much
of his talent on his own.

“It’s my determination that got me here,” said Brown. “I learned
a lot from my high school coach, but other than that, it was my
will and determination. I’d be practicing every night on my own, or
getting up at five in the morning.”

Brown also has five permanent reminders of his journey etched
into his skin that he said help drive him during games and
practice.

The words “determination” and “dedication” are visible on each
of Brown’s forearms.

“It was hard at first for my mom to understand why I got
tattoos, but once I told her what they stood for it was easier for
her to accept them,” Brown said.

Despite being far from home, Brown believes it helps his
game.

“I concentrate more when I’m far away from everybody,” Brown
said. “But it is hard. I miss my family, Chinese food and the
pizza. I also miss the weather and just being at home, and being
around what I’m used to.”

When Brown isn’t playing basketball he enjoys spending time with
his teammates and watching sports on television.

“I don’t really do much,” said Brown. “I just like to chill with
friends and stay away from anything negative.”

Brown lives off campus with three of his teammates, and said it
helps them have a better understanding of one another on the
court.

“We all have different personalities, but it does help when we
are playing,” Brown said. “We understand each other better without
having to say anything. It just comes naturally.”

The Broncos are about halfway into the season and Brown is
already happy with where he decided to end his career.

“Basketball has been fun at Cal Poly, it’s positive here,” said
Brown. “It’s been a good experience and it’s still early in the
season. The atmosphere is good, the fans are good and the
professors are basketball fans.”

Kamansky said that even though he has only known Brown for a
short time he feels like he has known Brown for much longer.

“Tyquan is one of the neatest kids I’ve ever coached,” said
Kamansky. “He’s always laughing and has an infectious smile. He
represents the program, his family and the school well.”

The sociology student hopes to be a counselor someday, but not
before he’s done playing basketball.

“When it’s all said and done, I just want to keep playing
basketball,” said Brown. “I want to play well enough so that I have
the opportunity to get a contract afterward. I didn’t have a lot of
opportunities to play and a lot of people doubted me. So I just
want

to keep proving them wrong.”

“I’m just trying to do well for myself and keep climbing the
ladder until I get to where I want to be. It’s like the tattoo
across my chest, ‘the sky’s the limit.’ I go out with that on me
every day. That, and my [tattoos of my] mother and my
grandmother.”

Tyquan Brown

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown

Tyquan Brown from NY

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown from NY

Tyquan Brown

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown

Tyquan Brown from NY

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown from NY

Tyquan Brown

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown

Tyquan Brown from NY

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown from NY

Tyquan Brown

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown

Tyquan Brown from NY

Gloria Gonzalez / The Poly Post

Tyquan Brown from NY

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