Kezo Set for Debut

Simeon freshman point guard Kezo Brown staying humble despite the early spotlight that is shining on him.

Keno Brown. Year after year, new talent arrives at Simeon Career Academy on Chicago’s south side. The program regularly produces top-tier division one talent, and the next special talent out of Simeon might just be Kezo Brown.

"I just want to go hard every day in practice,” Brown said, "do what my coaches ask me to, and take it from there.”

The players at Simeon change, but one constant over the last decade or so has been head coach Rob Smith, who has won a handful of state championships in his tenure with the Wolverines. Brown is ready to adapt and enter a system that breeds success.

“(Coach Rob) helps me just playing in his system,” the 2018 point guard said. "In elementary school it was just up and down, but now I’m running plays and running a system and all that."

Brown’s transition to Simeon has gone very smoothly so far. But prior familiarity with both players and coaches have helped.

"Coach Rob knew my coach at USA, and that was a big part of helping me transition,” Brown said. "Also, I’ve known Zack (Norvell) and Ben (Coupet) since I was in 8th grade. It wasn’t like nobody knew me. I’ve known D.J. (Williams), Isaiah (Moss), and Ed (Morrow) for a while, too."

He may not have played a single minute yet for Simeon, but Brown already knows the goal for Simeon this year, and really the goal every year.

"This year we want to win city and state,” Brown stated assertively. "That’s the only thing on my mind."

Considering all of the talent that has come and gone from Simeon, not all of that talent has been on the varsity squad as a freshman. Brown joins elite company this fall when he joins a team full of experience and upperclassmen talent.

"It means a lot,” Brown said. "It humbles me. It’s a gift from God that I can go out every day, play hard, and do my thing."

Even without lacing up for his first high school game, Brown has attracted the attention of numerous high major schools, and on Wednesday received an offer from Nebraska.

"I’m also hearing fro Kansas, Illinois, UIC, DePaul, Michigan, and Michigan State,” Brown said.

One visit Brown has already taken was to a local school, but he has plans to see some schools further from home.

"Northwestern was really good,” he said. I’m looking forward to visiting Duke, of course, and Kentucky."

Illinois is a school that is likely to get a visit before too long as well.

"The relationship at Illinois is real good,” Brown said. "I know the head coach Groce and one of the assistants."

But possibly the strongest relationships Brown has at Illinois is with some of the former Simeon Wolverines now on the Illini roster.

"Jay Tate and K Nunn talk to me a lot about Illinois,” he said. "I think Jay Tate is going to be a good lead guard. He knows how to run a team and he’s very vocal."

But with just days until his high school debut, Brown is doing his best to stay focused and lock in with what Rob Smith’s message is for the team.

"We need to just work hard and do what Coach Rob asks us to do,” he said. "He knows how to win. He knows what he’s doing and we’re just going to listen and do what he says."

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