Men’s College Basketball: South Suburban’s Jalen Brown signs with Georgia State
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media May 7, 2014 5:18PM
South Suburban College's Jalen Brown signs with Georgia State. | Supplied photo
Updated: June 10, 2014 6:30AM
When it came right down to it, South Suburban’s Jalen Brown knew what he should do.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward followed his heart.
With offers and interest from Oregon State, Northern Illinois, Florida Gulf Coast and Iona, Brown signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Georgia State.
“I liked everything about Georgia State, my team, my teammates, my coaches,” Brown said. “It’s a really talented team, and we’ve got some big-time transfers coming in. We’re going to be a lot better next year. Georgia State just felt right.”
Brown averaged 13 points (second on the team), 8.1 rebounds and two blocks per game in 2013-14 at South Suburban, his 72 blocks ranking ninth in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
South Suburban coach John Pigatti was more than pleased to see his sophomore forward get a chance to continue his playing career at a Division I school.
“I’m happy for Jalen, I’m happy for his family,” Pigatti said. “It shows how much his hard work paid off both in the classroom and on the court that he will be a Division I player.”
It was a big year for Brown who lost some 60 pounds in hopes of becoming a more balanced, fit player. Brown helped South Suburban to a regional championship and a seventh-place finish at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
He was named All-Region second team.
“This year probably more than ever, I learned the most I ever had on the court,” Brown said. “It’s a credit to my teammates who were the ones getting me the ball. That’s why I’m going D-I. I couldn’t have done it without them. I showed up at practice all year and worked hard at it.”
Georgia State won the Sun Belt Conference championship last season, finishing 25-9 overall and qualifying for the NIT.
“I’m going to work hard and get whatever I can earn,” Brown said. “Hopefully, God willing, we keep on winning.”