Anthony Brown was drafted with the 34th overall pick in the NBA draft, right at the beginning of the second round when most begin to doze off in front of their televisions or start looking up highlights of their team's first-round selections. Even NBA commissioner Adam Silver checks out by that point in the proceedings, handing over emcee duties to deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. For Brown however, a Fountain Valley, Calfornia native, CIF Southern section champion during his Junior year at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, it was the highlight of his basketball career.
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"For me growing up as a Lakers fan it's surreal to me," Brown said of being selected by the team he grew up rooting for. A lot of players claim to have been fans of whatever team they are selected by, but Brown established his long-time fan credentials when he name dropped the station Lakers games used to be broadcast on before their current deal with Time Warner Cable Sportsnet. "I can remember watching the games on KCAL9," Brown said, while specifically mentioning the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led victory over Allen Iverson's Philadelphia 76ers in 2001 as a highlight.
A five-year senior out of Stanford who was a Pac-12 All-Academic honoree in four out of five of those years, Brown averaged 14.8 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting a scorching 44.1 percent on three-pointers during his senior year. But to get there, Brown had to fight back from a hip injury that forced him to medically red shirt his Junior year. Battle back he did though, winning Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the year during his redshirt Junior season in 2014 before being an All-Pac 12 honorable mention recipient and Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award candidate during his senior season. After overcoming that adversity, was Brown shocked to be selected by his hometown team?
"More so than shock it was almost like a dream for me," Brown said of his reaction when his name was called, "Being a Lakers fan and having them select you, I felt like I was dreaming." Brown also sounds like he understands the high standards he will be held to by a demanding fan base. "There's a lot of pride that comes with the Lakers jersey, and I'm definitely ready to represent it in the right way."
The Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo where Brown gave his introductory press conference is about a half hour drive from Disneyland, but Brown doesn't have to go anywhere to wish upon a star. The Lakers already made his dreams come true.