Detrek Browning stayed true to FMU and have become the college’s all-time main scorer

In an early January recreation in opposition to Clayton State, Detrek Browning waited calmly behind the three-point line whereas teammate Brandon Parker battled for a free ball within the lane. Finally, Parker swatted the ball in the direction of Browning, who gathered it in, paused to set himself and casually flipped in a three-pointer that etched his identify right into a distinguished place within the FMU file books. With that comparatively unremarkable basket, Browning turned one thing fairly outstanding — the main profession scorer within the faculty’s virtually 50-year-old historical past.

That the record-setter got here on a routine play is no surprise. Browning’s calling card as a participant is his capability to attain, seemingly with out effort; to make a singular capability to search out methods to place ball basket seem fairly strange.

What was outstanding in regards to the play is that Browning was round to do it in any respect.

The dynamics of school basketball in any respect ranges have modified dramatically up to now decade. Gamers transfer recurrently and simply from faculty to highschool, searching for the following little bit of barely greener grass; and there’s not a lot hard-working coaches and faculties can do about it. Their path is fraught with peril.

Convey a participant alongside too slowly and he’ll depart for a scenario the place he can play/shoot/begin extra usually. However, carry them alongside too rapidly, develop them too nicely – and that is very true for packages at Division II faculties like FMU — and larger faculties will come calling. They’ll’t recruit a participant, per se, till he places his identify on the NCAA’s official switch listing (which numbers annually within the 1000’s) however phrase will get round. Pssst. In case your identify is on that listing. …

After he averaged 20.1 factors a recreation for FMU in 2015-16, formally his sophomore season, phrase received round to Browning. There have been faculties on the market – Division I faculties – who had been . And Browning knew the drill. Mates, foes, even a few of his teammates, had gone that route.

“I used to be listening to from just a few individuals,” Browning says, “and other people had been in my ear, telling me to go, that this was my massive likelihood. However …”

However?

Browning shakes his head, shrugs his shoulders. The large determination, he says, was actually no determination in any respect.

“Man, in any case (FMU) has carried out for me … I imply, they had been there for me when nobody else was,” says Browning. “And the individuals right here have all the time been nice. That is the place I belong. I wasn’t going anyplace. I suppose perhaps coach was anxious, however I wasn’t leaving. “

Gary Edwards, Browning’s coach at FMU, admits to some nervousness throughout the spring in query. However these days are long gone now and recalling them now brings a smile to Edwards’ face.

“Detrek’s carried out a number of neat issues right here, made a number of massive performs, and he’ll all the time be considered one of my favorites,” says Edwards, “however if you happen to ask me what I’ll bear in mind most that’s it. It’s that loyalty that Detrek confirmed. That’s a uncommon high quality. It’s higher than all these factors he scored.”

Issues occur

Perhaps Detrek Browning by no means ought to have wound up at FMU within the first place.

He wasn’t precisely a secret popping out of Irmo (S.C.) Excessive Faculty, simply north of Columbia. Irmo, led by legendary coach Tim Whipple, is without doubt one of the premier highschool basketball packages in South Carolina and Detrek Browning did nothing throughout his time with the Yellowjackets to minimize that.

Browning performed three varsity seasons at Irmo and helped the crew win two state championships. In his senior yr Irmo went 29-0 — Whipple’s solely unbeaten squad in 37 years on the helm — and captured Whipple’s fifth state title.

Browning might not have been — might being the important thing phrase — the perfect participant on a crew that additionally included College of South Carolina recruit Justin McKie. However he wasn’t a secret. He was receiving important recruiting consideration by his junior yr and had a lot of Division I packages giving him lengthy appears.

However … issues occurred. One program that appeared like a positive factor signed one other guard and by no means known as Browning once more. One other modified coaches. And so forth.

Whipple says it was clear to him — then and now — that Browning belonged on a Division I roster.

“Oh, there’s little doubt that the might play at that degree,” says Whipple. “However you recognize, coaches take a look at issues … it’s robust. He (Browning) was a bit of small perhaps, sort of received in that in-between factor place clever. Was he a degree guard or a taking pictures guard? He didn’t play a lot level for us till his senior yr. However perhaps he’s a bit of small for a D-I taking pictures guard, perhaps he’s not that quick … So …”

So, early that yr, one Edwards’ assistants at FMU noticed Browning play and urged the Patriots make a run at him. Edwards noticed him and rapidly agreed — “greatest level guard I noticed all yr,” Edwards stated.

Edwards came upon Browning’s recruiting had taken a humorous flip and placed on the total courtroom press. When Browning got here for his official go to, Edwards supplied him a full scholarship on the spot.

Browning held out for a short while, ready for the “higher” provide that by no means got here. Finally his personal good sense — all who know him see him as a particularly well-grounded individual — and a bit of hectoring from his mother made him a Patriot.

“I stored pondering, ‘perhaps a much bigger faculty will provide me one thing,’” Browning says. “In the meantime, mother is saying, ‘are you loopy? They’re providing you a full scholarship. They really need you. what? She was proper.”

Purple-shirt tears

Yet another take a look at remained.

Although a elegant participant for a freshman, Browning arrived on the FMU campus to search out Evrik Gary — the quantity three scorer at school historical past — already ensconced within the level guard position. Edwards and the Patriot employees persuaded Browning that the factor to do was sit out — redshirt is the time period — his freshman season, simply as Gary had carried out.

The transfer made sense, however it’s simpler stated than carried out. Redshirts spend all of the apply time that common gamers do however don’t get to play within the video games, can’t even journey with the crew to away contests.

“You’re actually by yourself a number of occasions and have to remain centered to maintain engaged on issues, getting higher, by yourself,” says Browning. “That’s an excellent factor. There’s lots to get used to shifting from highschool to school. It helped with basketball, with faculty, with all the pieces. I inform everybody now ‘Redshirt. That’s the best way to do it. It’s the perfect factor I’ve ever carried out.’ But it surely’s not straightforward. I’ll need to say there have been just a few nights the place just a few tears had been shed. “

Conserving power

One level — not the primary level, however a degree all the identical — that Browning would make about his recreation, about the best way he performs basketball is that he can dunk the ball.

“Most undoubtedly,” says Browning. “I even have two dunks in video games (at FMU). I suppose there might have been extra — followers would love it — however it’s not one thing I used to be ever that enthusiastic about. A bucket is a bucket. I’d somewhat preserve my power.”

Good at power conservation. Now there’s a line that doesn’t present up on many scouting stories. However that side of Detrek Browning, basketball participant, says about as a lot about his recreation as any. He glides across the courtroom, underneath management, shifting from place to put — shifting from the proper place to the proper place — with a studied nonchalance that lulls opponents, followers and even his personal coach right into a state of disinterest.

“He’s a type of guys,” says FMU’s Edwards, “the place you decide up the stat sheet afterwards and also you say, ’Twenty-five factors? How’d he do this? I didn’t see that.’ He’s very, very easy.”

Browning’s chief talent is an absolute intangible. He has innate understanding of the sport that permits him to see performs earlier than they develop.

“It doesn’t simply occur,” explains Browning. “I’ve had some excellent coaches. And I do take into consideration all of the performs. I simply take into consideration them 5 or 10 seconds earlier than they occur.”

Which is 5 or 10 (or extra) seconds forward of most.

Velocity, taking pictures kill

The awards and honors are piling up quick in Browning’s remaining season. He’s been the Peach Belt Convention Participant of the Week 4 occasions (by means of January), set the FMU single recreation scoring mark (41 factors) in early January and is clearly poised to post-season accolades as nicely.

It’s all well-deserved, however nonetheless shocking all the identical for Browning seldom appears like the perfect athlete on the ground. The 6-0, 180-pounder is a bit of stocky as basketball gamers go, and doesn’t have the chiseled musculature of some. His two dunks apart, he’s not a fantastic leaper, and he’s most likely not the quickest man round both, though as dozens of oft-burned Peach Belt Convention foes would attest, he’s loads quick sufficient.

Browning comes from a really athletic household. His mother (Carlissa), varied uncles and aunts and cousins all performed school sports activities. His brother is an efficient bit heavier than Detrek, “however can nonetheless beat me in a race. He can fly.

“My uncle (Milton Kershaw) who performed soccer in school and is simply loopy quick, taught me early on that velocity kills,” says Browning. “It’s crucial a part of most sports activities. But it surely’s not essentially who’s quickest. It’s who could be quick once they must be.”

Browning is a superb defender (he’ll end his profession amongst FMU’s all-time chief in steals, too), however what units him aside are his offensive abilities. In Browning’s thoughts — an excellent place to begin for analyzing basketball — the important thing talent is taking pictures. He has easy mechanics and really feel for the shot that got here to him virtually from the second he took up the sport — he hit a protracted buzzer beater to win the championship recreation in his first yr of organized basketball at age 12.

“In the event you can shoot the basketball, I imply actually shoot it, you might be principally unguardable,” Browning says. “Attempt to cease the shot and it’s a faux and I’m by you for a pull up (jumper) or a layup. Attempt to cease that and …. “

His voice trails off. One other basketball thought has popped right into a thoughts that processes such info at an astonishing price.

“It’s all the time superb to me the variety of basketball gamers — Division I gamers — actually can’t shoot,” says Browning. “That’s sort of the purpose of the sport isn’t it?”

The Gary plan

Browning plans to observe within the footsteps of his former teammate Gary and play basketball professionally for so long as he can. Gary has been on an oddball world tour since he left FMU — Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Dubuque, Iowa and now, Cyprus — however he’s received a suitcase filled with memorable experiences and … he’s nonetheless enjoying. The dream remains to be alive.

Browning understands. He is aware of he can play at a really excessive degree and is keen to show it, even when which means touring some unusual roads and studying even higher persistence.

At any time when that’s carried out, Browning suspects his long-term future lies … in teaching. He’s a Dean’s Listing pupil who’ll graduate in Might with a level in Psychology, and reservoir of data that he thinks will translate properly in that area.

“I appear to have a fairly good understanding of basketball,” says Browning. “I feel that (teaching) might work out.”

Certainly.

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