Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

February 17, 2013

Brought up Brown

West Carter senior writes another brilliant chapter in Comets’ favorite family story

OLIVE HILL — John “Hop” Brown cherished his only son.

Known as Kyle, John Kyle Cleveland Brown is named after Hop himself, former Kentucky basketball great Kyle Macy, and Hop’s favorite professional football team.

Growing up, Kyle was in Hop’s “back pocket,” as Kyle put it, whether it was in the gym, on the golf course or wherever.

Eyes brighten and ears perk at the mention of his dad’s name.

When, in August 2003, innocent Kyle lost his loving (and widely adored) father at the age of 9, the boy wept the saddest kind of tears. Hop, an area legend, had died of brain cancer.

“I remember seeing Kyle sitting on the driveway bawling,” said Comets statistician Chris Perry. “That’s an image I can’t shake.”

On Thursday, Kyle played his final game as a Comet on John “Hop” Brown Court. He put on a grand show for friends and family, and even his dad, who Kyle knows is watching.

“He sees everything that goes on,” Kyle said.

Kyle is licking the envelope and sealing shut a magnificent career. His 32 points on Thursday lifted him to No. 1 on the school’s all-time scoring list, at 1,868. He also owns school records in steals (224) and games played (124), a record which was previously held by head coach Jeremy Webb. Also, he’s just four made 3-pointers short of another school mark.

While West Carter has struggled this season with a ton of youth and inexperience surrounding Brown, he has excelled. His rebounding numbers have skyrocketed to just fewer than 10 per game. The 6-foot-2 guard even grabbed a career-best 16 rebounds in a game this season. His scoring average is 23 points.

“In the past, he's been a spot-up shooter that could play off the dribble a little bit,” Webb said. “This year we post him a little bit, he spots up and shoots, he plays off the dribble, he plays point guard, he's the power forward or the center. He's just stepped in and filled any role that we've asked him to do.”

On Tuesday, Brown and the Comets (8-18) travel to East Carter to take on the Raiders in the first round of the 62nd District tournament. So far, a district title has proved to be elusive for Brown.

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