By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
He’s averaging 16.3 points per Basketball Champions League match this year, but Rion Brown will likely raise it even higher. If the 27-year-old American swingman keeps scoring like he did on Wednesday, then he’ll not only achieve a higher average but will also lead Promitheas Patras to the BCL Playoffs.
His father, Tico, was also a professional basketball player. He played in the NCAA for Georgia Tech from 1976 to 1979, but Rion preferred an Atlantic Coast Conference rival for his college career. Miami. He played 130 games for the Hurricanes from 2010 until 2014 averaging 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
Brown went through his final NCAA season with 15.5 points per match, but didn’t fit in the NBA 2014 Draft like his father did in 1979 when the Utah Jazz selected him through the 23rd pick. Tico Brown went on to play in the Continental Basketball Association, win two championships and become the CBA’s All-Time leading scorer. Rion, however, moved his talents to Europe a few decades later.
The Miami alumni started his professional career in Israel with Hapoel Tel Aviv, but midway through the 2014-15 season travelled to Belgium, where he spent about two seasons with Basic-Fit Brussels. He went on to play for Kataja in Finland and JDA Dijon in France before getting to Patras.
The 2018-19 season is Promitheas first campaign in the Basketball Champions League, but the same can’t be said for Brown. In the 2016-17 season he averaged 17.9 points with Kataja that continued in the FIBA Europe Cup after the BCL Regular Season. He was masterful, especially on December 6th when he scored a career-high 40 points in the 88-69 away win over Maccabi Rishon LeZion. However, Kataja finished one win shy from the Israelis and a Playoffs berth.
In France’s top division, Brown built on his scoring touch averaging 12.5 points. He highlighted his 2017-18 season with a 25-point performance against Boulazac on a February 7th Jeep Elite Regular Season Day 20 match. This year, his best performance didn’t come on the road, but at the Dimitris Tofalos Arena for Promitheas fans to watch and admire.
Makis Giatras’ offensive approach to the game perfectly suits the 27-year-old American. His explosiveness not only secured him a spot on the roster and perfectly fit his coach’s plans, but gives the Patras crowd one more reason to visit Promitheas’ house and take a live look at some of his highlight dunks. There were many of those against medi Bayreuth.
Brown went off for 31 points with 14/19 from the field including 12/14 two-pointers in the Regular Season Day 10 match. He also notched five rebounds and one assist in 35:15 on his way for a game-high 29 efficiency rating. His big game followed up his 30-point performance versus SIG Strasbourg in France and his two 21-point performances in other Regular Season Group D matches.
Four more Gamedays are left in BCL’s group stage and Promitheas hope to prove they are here to stay, meaning they are gearing up for a Playoffs spot. Brown has already played his part to put the Greeks in a good position, but the seven wins in the first ten matches haven’t yet secured them a ticket in the Champions League’s next stage.
Photo Credit: Basketball Champions League