The Voice sat down with Keith Brown, the first-year head coach of the women’s basketball team.
Q: What started you down the path to becoming the head coach of the Georgetown women’s basketball team?
A: Basketball has always been a passion of mine. I played in high school (I was pretty good). I grew up watching Magic Johnson, prodigy of the NBA. I loved stats. One of the things my mother did to help me learn to read was to buy me basketball magazines because I didn’t want to read anything else. She got me involved in sports and she got me involved in reading, so basketball has always been a part of my blood.
Q: What do you tell parents Georgetown has to offer their child?
A: Georgetown is a special place. I don’t recruit kids; I give them the opportunity. What you find out by being here at Georgetown is that it’s the opportunity that lasts you a lifetime. The education is second to none. The community is second to none. The alumni connections and the relationships you build are second to none. I like to tell parents that their daughters will be going to school with future doctors, lawyers, senators, and representatives. They just don’t know it yet. Georgetown is not a hard sell. It hasn’t been for me.
Q: Is coaching teens different than college students?
A: Athletes are athletes. Kids are kids. They’re young ladies. Anything that happens is the end of the world. When they’re teenagers and they turn 20, nothing changes. It probably magnifies it. They’re still the same. They listen more now. As they get a little older and they think they know a little more about basketball, they start asking more questions.
Q: What intrinsic qualities do you think you possess that are going to help you run this program?
A: I am a communicator. I’m also a great listener. I am also loyal to a fault. Georgetown has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m fulfilling my dreams. I think that combined with my basketball knowledge, my recruiting skills will allow this program to run smoothly.
Q: Are you switching the system up?
A: No. Absolutely not. A lot of the system we have here now I brought when I came. Our motto is that we’re going to pass and rebound the ball as much as possible and we’re going to pressure you. We created a formula here at Georgetown that other schools have started to follow. You’ll remember five or six years ago, we didn’t win many games. Our staff tried to create an environment where we played differently than anyone else in the country.
Q: How do seniors graduating and transfers affect your team? What are you losing?
A: With the seniors, we lose experience. When someone transfers, it means Georgetown wasn’t right for them. Now we have Sugar, who’s one of the best players in the country. We have juniors and sophomores that didn’t really get a chance to play last year. We’ll make up for the lack of experience. Sometimes the seniors turned off because they had heard it all before. These kids’ [Brown’s current squad’s] antennas are up. That’s going to be their biggest impact on the team: they want to learn.
Q: Who are the teams to watch out for this year?
A: Well they go to the final four every year, so I have to pick UConn. Obviously Notre Dame is a team to watch out for. One team that I think can make a transition and do a lot of damage is Rutgers. From a recruiting standpoint, Rutgers is stacked. They may not gel as a team quite yet, but they’re loaded with talent.
Q: How should the students be showing love for the Hoyas? What can we do to get behind the team?
A: If you don’t have anything to do on a Wednesday or a Saturday night, come to the games. Getting behind the team would go a long way to support the legacy that we’ve built. I’m beggin’ you kids, please come out and see the girls. They play so hard. It’s tough to go to other universities where the teams aren’t as good and see that they have more fans in the stands than we do. I challenge the students to come out. You know what? Find something for me to do to make them come out.
Q: Favorite WNBA player?
A: It has to be Monica Wright. Now, I’m totally biased because I coached her back in the day. Rebekkah Brunson is a close second. She and Monica both play on the same team.