Brown’s Heady Play Propel Panthers
Posted: February 27, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Tim Brown is a quiet kid. You probably won’t learn much about his personality through a quick conversation, during which he politely provides mostly one- and two-word answers.
If you want to know about the inner drive of the junior guard for the Page County High School boys’ basketball team, watching him race at Shenandoah Speedway would probably lend more insight.
The second time he stepped into his father’s race car – a black, miniature-sized stock car – he was running in second place in a field of 18 competitors. His father, advising his son over the radio, told him to settle for runner-up rather than gunning for the lead. Brown ignored his father’s advice, and ended up crashing into the wall in the final laps, totaling the car.
Afterward, his father asked him, “Son, why didn’t you listen to me?”
“Dad, I knew I could win,” Brown responded, according to his father.
It was a rare occasion when Brown didn’t make a smart decision.
Whether it’s in a race car or on the court as the Panthers’ shooting guard, Brown plays with determined aggression, yet in a manner that’s also very cerebral. It’s what’s made him so successful at both.
Brown, a 5-foot-11, 160-pounder, averaged 16.3 points per game for the Panthers in the regular season – second on the team behind senior Tanner Dofflemyer (17.9 ppg). He’s a big reason why Page is back in the Division 1 state tournament for the second time in three years; the Panthers will play West Point in the quarterfinals Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University.
“He’s the same on the race track as he is on the basketball floor,” PCHS coach Mike Purdham said of Brown. “Very heady, calm, cool, collected type of guy.”
In the Page County community, there apparently are some who are surprised to see Brown playing basketball at all.
Brown is from a football family. His father – also named Tim – and his three uncles on his father’s side all played football for the Panthers. There were no serious basketball players in the family.
Until the younger Tim Brown came along. Playing hoops since kindergarten, Tim was simply a better athlete than most of his relatives.
Brown’s father said, before his son went to Page, friends would have thought it “crazy if somebody would’ve told ’em that a Brown was playing basketball at Page County High and was one of the star players.”
The younger Tim Brown did try football, but suffered a shoulder injury as a sophomore that required reconstructive surgery. He said he’d love to give the gridiron another try, but that he’s concerned about causing long-term damage.
“I always had thought about going back to football, it’s always just lingering in the back of my mind,” he said. “But I like playing basketball, so I just keep playing basketball.”
Another smart decision.
He is unquestionably one of the stars for PCHS, along with Dofflemyer and senior Kol Shuler. The three players sometimes jokingly call themselves “The Three Amigos.” Purdham dubbed them “The Big Three,” and they even kiddingly compare themselves to the Miami Heat’s trio of LeBron James (Shuler), Dwyane Wade (Dofflemyer) and Chris Bosh (Brown).
“We just gave [Brown] Bosh because LeBron and Dwyane Wade were better,” Shuler said, laughing.
It’s doubtful that either Shuler or Dofflemyer could compete with Brown on the racetrack, though.
Brown’s father raced for three years starting in 2006, winning two races, before turning over the keys to his son. Since the younger Tim’s early crash three years ago, he’s had huge success, winning 11 out of 14 races last year and all six races he entered the year before.
Why is the younger Tim such a superior racer?
“I knew when I got home Saturday night [after the race] that I’d have to go to work Monday morning; in the back of my mind, I’m thinking like that,” the elder Tim Brown said. “Tim, he’s just real aggressive and wants to win. …That’s all he’s thinking about.”
For the most part, he wins making smart decisions – regardless of the sport.
“He’s a complete [basketball] player,” Purdham said. “Plays on both ends of the floor. I call him a steady ‘A.’ He never gets too high, never gets too low. He’s very consistent. Good defender, shoots the ball extremely well. A very unselfish player.
“…He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”