Thanks to 31 points, 11 assist, four rebounds and two steals by former Simeon basketball standout Kezo Brown, the Chicago Angels defeated the Libertyville Vipers 149-110, in Brown’s ABA debut on Sunday night.
Sunday’s game marked the first time Brown has played basketball since being shot five times in the month of March on Chicago’s South Side.
“I’m very happy about being back playing the game I love,” said Brown after leading his team to their first ever ABA victory in franchise history.” It’s been a very hard road back.”
Brown explained to the Crusader, that it was a long journey for him before he could actually return to the basketball court.
He shared that he first, had to get his mind stable (after being shot five times: three times in the chest, once in the hip and once in the left thigh). And second, according to a Chicago Suntimes report, needed to overcome “three surgeries at the time.”
“I had to slowly get physically ready,” Brown said about his recovery process. “Thanks to my coaches Williams, A.B , Anderson and Grapes…. they’ve been very patient with me.”
In addition to his road to recovery, Brown said it has been very helpful for him to have great teammates that wanted to see him succeed.
“It also helps that I got great teammates who want to see me do well and help me get to an elite level,” Brown said. “I know there will be challenges (down the line), but I’m well prepared for what’s ahead.”
With excitement, Brown continued to brag about his teammates on how well they played in Sunday’s match up against the Vipers.
“I can’t say enough about my teammates and how well they played,” said Brown. “I love the fact we got a group of guys that’s hungry with a lot to prove.”
Brown’s father, Marquis Brown Sr., has been the biggest supporter and inspiration in his life.
He started his very own ABA basketball team back in April after the shooting, to give his son the opportunity to continue to play the game he loves.
“Kezo was the biggest reason me and my cousin Donald Johnson decided to buy an ABA franchise,” said Mr. Brown, in a past interview with Tru Star magazine. “Because once he got shot five times, I didn’t want to wait to have to find a platform for him to play. I wanted to create a team where we also could get out in the community, talk with kids, and do mental health programs, and drug, gang and gun violence initiatives.”
Brown stated that his other team objective is to also help young men reach their goals.
“Starting this team would also give us the opportunity to help other young men to reach their goals and their dreams and inspirations, as far as playing ball overseas or continuing their professional career,” Brown said.
After Brown’s father expressed his love and appreciation about his son’s return to the game of basketball, his ABA coach said he was very inspired by his debut as well.
“Every one is working so hard every day for us to become a great team, said Mike Williams, head coach of the ABA’s first year team the Chicago Angels. “We want people to understand that we are here to stay, because of are outstanding starting point guard Marquis (Kezo) Brown Jr., who had 31 points and 11 assists..we came out with the win.”
Williams also said he honor’s Brown’s courage after what he’s been through.
“Getting shot five times then coming back to play the way he does (shows that he is an) outstanding leader for us as the Chicago angels,”Williams said. “We all love playing and coaching next to him.”
Prior to the ABA season, Brown initially committed to play college basketball at Chicago State, but decided to turn pro and join LaVar Ball’s JBA league in 2018. Brown matriculated his JBA opportunity into a pro contract in China’s Wildball League this winter. Brown is now playing and living out his hoop dreams in the ABA with his father.
Brown and the Angels will host the ABA’s Chicago Steam at Infinity High School (3120 S. Kostner) on Saturday November 9th. Game time 7 p.m.
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.