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Brown named McDonald's All-American

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Kansas Pregame Winter covergirl chosen to play in prestigious all-star game in March in Atlanta

  • Derby's Kennedy Brown has been selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game. (Left photo courtesy Derby Informer Sports, @Derby_Sports; Right photo by Bree McReynolds-Baetz)
    Derby's Kennedy Brown has been selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game. (Left photo courtesy Derby Informer Sports, @Derby_Sports; Right photo by Bree McReynolds-Baetz)

Derby Informer Sports reports that Kansas Pregame Winter Sports Preview covergirl Kennedy Brown was selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game in March.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious high school basketball all-star game in the country, the McDonald's All-American Game features the top 24 players in the country. The Informer reports that Brown is the first KSHSAA sanctioned girls’ player to be selected to the game.

The Informer also reports that Derby boys' basketball coach Brett Flory will serve on the East coaching staff in the boys' game. Blue Valley Northwest coach Ed Fritz is the head coach of the roster and Flory used to work for him as an assistant.



Conor Nicholl wrote the following article about Brown for the 2018 issue of Kansas Pregame’s Winter Sports Preview:

Derby 6-foot-6 senior center Kennedy Brown was ranked No. 19 in the country by ESPNW’s Hoopgurlz, the industry standard for women’s basketball recruiting. Brown, a 
five-star recruit, had narrowed her list to seven schools, mainly national powerhouses: Baylor, Tennessee, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon, Louisville and Oregon State. A few weeks before Derby practice opened, Brown announced her decision on Twitter. She selected Oregon State and coach Scott Rueck.

In eight seasons with the Beavers, Rueck is 179-88 with Final Four, Sweet 16 and Elite Eight showings the last three winters. From the start, Rueck and his staff knew Brown didn’t want to play with her back to the basket. Rueck envisions Brown as a versatile player, one who can shoot the three more consistently, take defenders off the bounce and shoot mid-range and pull-up jumpers.

Brown took official visits to Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA. Brown has played at the international level, including the 2018 Women’s U18 National Team Trials.

“I think just the relationships that I built with those coaches,” Brown said. “We are all really close, and I have kind of clicked with the head coach since Day 1. “He has had a vision for me that was just unique,” she added. “And it has helped me see myself playing there and going there and just meeting the girls, I felt like I really fit in, and it just felt like the right place.”

Brown has enjoyed a strong chemistry with Derby and veteran coach Jodie Karsak. The Panthers were 7-14 and 8-14 before Brown and point guard Tor’e Alford entered high school.

Since then, Derby is 19-4, 20-5 and 23-1 with a 50-35 win against Olathe East in the Class 6A state title game, the first girls’ basketball crown in school annals. Brown averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds as a sophomore. At state last season, Brown delivered 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks a game. Alford, a Missouri State commit, and Brown are great friends and have played together since junior high. Brown’s high school career has long been defined publicly by her Division I recruitment. Brown, though, doesn’t want to be defined only by her success as a basketball player. She enjoys English, writing and the sciences. Brown said she might major in broadcast journalism or physical therapy at Oregon State.

“A great student, not just an athlete,” Brown said. “A good person. I want to be known for my personality, not just my abilities, so when people really get to know me, I think they know I am more than just that, and it’s very few that actually do try. … (Alford) knows me better than anybody, and she knows that it’s more than just basketball to me, but I also want to be able to help others.”

This short documentary by @Brett_T_Jones provides a closer look at Brown's passion for the sport of basketball.