Simply the Best – Tookie Brown Rewrites the Record Books for Eagles Basketball
Tookie Brown is accustomed to being underestimated.
The 5’11” point guard is typically one of the shortest basketball players on the court. It’s a fact that has briefly emboldened his opponents, but also one which has fueled his drive and ambition to be the best, giving those opponents an unpleasant surprise.
“I’d say I’ve been an underdog all my life, and if I had to change my size, I wouldn’t at all,” said Brown. “If I was a different size, I probably wouldn’t have the records I’ve been breaking.”
In four years with Georgia Southern, Brown has rewritten the record books and set a standard that will be difficult to match for future players. He leaves an Eagles team that posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in 30 years and posted winning seasons for the last three years.
Individually, Brown is the Sun Belt Player of the Year, the Georgia College Player of the Year, an All-America honorable mention selection and is the only player in Sun Belt history with more than 2,000 points and 500 assists. He is fourth on the Sun Belt career scoring list and 19th in steals, and he is the first player in Sun Belt history to earn first-team all-conference awards all four years of his career.
For Georgia Southern, Brown is the all-time Division I scoring leader with 2,290 points and is also first in games played (129), games started (125) and free throws (608). He also ranks in the Eagles top 10 for career field goals, assists, steals, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage and three-pointers made.
“Over 44 years there’s been a lot of guys that come through the league, and anytime you say ‘only’ beside something it means you did something pretty good in your career,” said Mark Byington, Eagles men’s basketball head coach. “Anytime you lose one of the greatest players in your program’s history you know there’s a void there, and we have got to figure that out.”
In addition to Brown, the Eagles will lose graduating senior Montae Glenn, who shot 62 percent from the field this season, second- highest season record in school history, and who also boasts a career shooting percentage of 58.6 percent, the highest percentage in Georgia Southern history. Glenn also ranked in the top 10 for blocked shots (500) and rebounds (723) and 15th for games played (118).
Brown, however, says he isn’t worried about the Eagles, who he believes have the talent for another run at the championship, and who are building on a foundation he and his teammates helped to create.
“Coach always said since my freshman year, you won’t leave any regrets on the court here at Georgia Southern,” said Brown. “And I feel like I have no regrets at all. I’ve done all I can for this school, and there will be many more players — good players are going to come through and do the same thing.”
Brown was invited to play in the Portsmouth Invitational, a tournament that selects 64 of the best senior college basketball players from across the nation to play in a four-day, 12-game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team. Brown is one of only two players under six-feet tall at the tournament, a fact that will lead some to underestimate him again.
However, Byington believes they’ll come to realize what Eagle fans have understood all along — never count out Tookie Brown.
“He’s going to play professional basketball,” said Byington. “You know, we all hope it’s the NBA. But he’s kind of used to being doubted, you know, whether it be his size or different things. Sometimes he rises to his best when he is doubted, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t impress some NBA guys and get drafted. But he’s going to make a great career being a professional basketball player.”
– Doy Cave