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Ethan Brown; from Peterborough, Ontario to the UAA Finals — a Q&A series.

Prior to this interview, I had been hearing a ton about this new name on the Canadian basketball scene who was making noise with Canada Elite 17U. Ethan Brown was a name that had begun to be brought up in virtually all of the basketball circles that I am a part of. So naturally I began to keep tabs.

Canada Elite has been known to develop prospects from all skill levels into serviceable post secondary prospects. The coaching staff has had a great track record recently of putting forth some stellar fundamentally sound big men for example - Keelan Steele who is entering his 2nd season at Maine this fall. Ethan Brown could very well be the next DI forward to come out of Canada Elite following in his predecessor's footsteps. I say this because over the weekend Ethan found himself and his teammates in the UAA Finals against a strong Middlesex Magic team; who actually won it last year as well. During this finals run, I received calls about the 6'10 prospect from Division I coaches.

Now that interest in the 2024 stretch 4 man is heating up, I was interested in finding out some more about this 'Peterborough Prospect'. I reached out to Ethan and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions on his way home from Atlanta, GA.

Can you tell us about your basketball journey so far? What led you to start playing basketball, and how has it shaped your life?

I started playing basketball at a high level within the last two years. I transitioned from volleyball, and before that hockey. As I continued to grow, I knew a lot of potential could be realized if I continued to work at the sport. Since then, I’ve been dedicated to learning the game and expanding my skillset.

Joining Canada Elite is a significant achievement. How has playing on the Under Armour shoe circuit influenced your development as a player and opened up opportunities for you?

Playing on the circuit can’t be beat. Matching up against ranked guys that have been in the game longer than you is intimidating at first, but I soon realized how fast it was accelerating my development. I’m very grateful for the D1 exposure and recruitment I’ve been getting from UAA as well.

Being recognized in basketball circles across Canada speaks volumes about your skills. What aspects of your game do you believe set you apart from other players, and how do you continue to work on improving those areas?

My athleticism is something I am very proud of, especially at my size. I attribute this to playing volleyball for many years. I’ve coupled this asset with my hustle to become a great defender. I think I do a great job of staying in front of anybody, and alter shots very well. I feel very comfortable guarding the perimeter. Offensively, my jump shot is an asset. I’ve worked at it daily and have become really fluid as well as much more consistent when shooting. Lastly, I think I am beginning to understand the game at a high level and am able to make reads crucial to running a high level offence.

It's clear that basketball plays a significant role in your life. Can you share a specific moment or experience that has had a profound impact on you and your perspective as an athlete?

My father was an Olympic rower, medaling in the 2012 London Olympics. This was a journey that he pursued while I was a boy, and I grew up observing his training schedule and commitment. This valuable perspective makes me confident that I already know the sacrifices and work ethic it takes to be an elite level athlete. Since then, I’ve embraced each step up in competition and am constantly seeking excellence.

Transitioning from being relatively unknown to gaining recognition can bring its own set of challenges. How have you managed the increased attention and expectations, and how has it affected your mindset and approach to the game?

I’ve been very lucky to be recognized as a great player here in Canada. I mostly stay grounded due to valuable lessons from both parents as well my high expectations. I figure there is always work to be done, and I try not to dwell on an emotion (positive or negative) for too long. Staying level is the most important piece to being successful in my opinion.

Balancing academics and athletics can be demanding. How do you maintain a strong work ethic both on the court and in the classroom, and how do you envision your basketball career aligning with your long-term educational goals?

My parents never had any expectations regarding school other than putting in maximum effort. However, I’ve always been strict with myself regarding school. This has allowed me to attain my high GPA. I’ve also found that many of my studying habits are applicable to basketball, and I find myself using them when I want to understand a defence or play call a bit better. My goal for the future will always be cultivating both basketball and academic success, without sacrificing the other.

Beyond basketball, what other qualities or skills do you think are essential for personal growth and success? How do you actively cultivate those attributes in your life?

Consistency is imperative when pursuing a goal at any level. This year, I’ve refocused on getting consistent sleep and nutrition. I also think integrity is a common trait in successful individuals. Integral people who are honest with themselves and others can often navigate challenges with ease as well as build much stronger relationships.

Setting goals is crucial for growth. What are your short-term and long-term goals, both on and off the basketball court, and how do you plan to achieve them?

In the short term, I want to finish a successful AAU season with good numbers and performances. Off the court, my short term goals don’t change often: Eat well, sleep well. Long term, I want to be a Division I basketball player, and then a pro. Off the court, I want to build a network of positive relationships with people so that no matter what happens with basketball, I will be in a good position coming out of it.

As a young athlete, mentors and role models often play a significant role in shaping one's journey. Who has been a source of inspiration or guidance for you, and how have they influenced your mindset and approach to the game?

I mentioned my Father earlier, I think he operates with a level of focus and intensity that is a necessity to my basketball journey. However, my Mother’s patience and wisdom have kept me level through moments of intense stress. I think their lessons compliment my mental game because I can reach for either at any time. I’m very lucky to have such great support around me.

Looking ahead, what legacy would you like to leave behind as a basketball player, both in terms of your impact on the court and your contributions to the community?

I want to go down as an excellent teammate, defender, and a threat offensively. I want to be apart of winning, accomplished teams. I would also like to build a presence in my local basketball community. I’m from a smaller town wthat doesn’t have the same concentration of talent as Toronto, and I want to help foster the growth of basketball in our community.

Be sure to follow Ethan Brown on Instagram @ethanbrown_7

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