While working out for NBA teams in recent weeks, former Oklahoma State guard Markel Brown experienced some pinch-me moments. Among them was meeting one of his idols, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan.
“You know how big of a Jordan fan I am; I was just ecstatic and shocked,” Brown said during a telephone interview this week. “He actually sat in on the whole workout and I played pretty good. It was fun.”
Throughout his four-year Cowboy career, Brown almost exclusively wore Jordans and owns nearly every pair on the market. So which ones was he wearing in front of His Airness?
“I actually wasn’t (wearing any Jordans),” Brown confessed. “The one time that I should be, I wasn’t. For this process, I just bought some Kobes, something light because I knew I was going to have so many workouts and wanted to be light on my feet.”
Since graduating from OSU last month, Brown has been on the go, training in Las Vegas and working out for 13 teams across the country. His schedule has been hectic leading up to the NBA draft on Thursday, with trips almost every other day.
“It’s been crazy, flying around and getting to meet different people and getting to play against different competition,” he said. “Sometimes you work out and you might see the same faces, but just the experiences of working out for different teams has been great.”
As a 6-foot-3 shooting guard with incredible athletic ability — see his “SportsCenter” Top 10 dunks and his 43.5-inch vertical that tied for the highest at the draft combine — Brown is projected to be taken in the second round. According to NBADraft.net, he “has rounded out his overall skills and is no longer just an athlete, showing a solid feel for the game and smooth, steady court presence.”
As a senior, Brown averaged 17.2 points and 5.3 rebounds and was perhaps the team’s most consistent player.
“I think Markel is going to have a great NBA future,” former teammate Marcus Smart said. “He’s a tremendous competitor just as much as I am. That’s what the these teams are looking for. Markel has all the skills.”
Asked what he could bring to an NBA team, Brown said: “I’m going to be a two-way player, provide offense and defense off the bench, give them bench scoring and hopefully guard the best guard on the other team. I’m someone who can come in, bring athleticism and take it to another level.”
Additionally, Brown’s steady improvement during his college career may have increased his stock and shown teams he still hasn’t reached his ceiling.
“I think all the places I’ve been, they’ve noticed that,” he said. “It definitely sticks out that I’ve continued to get better, no matter how old I am, especially being older in this draft with all the young guys coming out. It’s just a great thing that I still have a lot of potential left in me.”
With his auditions over, Brown has returned home to Alexandra, Louisiana, where he will await Thursday night and will watch the draft with family members and close friends.
“I don’t even know the feeling of what I’m going to have (when drafted) and what it’s going to be at the time, but I’m just going to be so happy to actually see my name flash across the screen and to have that happen,” he said. “It’s going to be a crazy moment.”
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452