Kendall Brown, a 6-foot-7 sophomore guard from East Ridge (MN) High, is ranked as state’s top player in the Class of 2021 and the number 18 prospect in the country in his class by ESPN.
Brown is averaging 15.9 points per game for the Raptors, who are off to a strong start. He scored a season-high 26 points in a 74-65 win over Hopkins. He scored 20 or more points in three of his games and double figures six of his first eight contests.
Gopher Hole caught up with Brown recently to talk about his season and recruitment.
Gopher Hole: Do you like that pressure of being the number one team? Obviously, that is where you want to end up, but do you like having that target on your back already in the beginning of the season?
Kendall Brown: Yes, because it makes us all more aggressive and a better opportunity to show everyone what we can do.
Gopher Hole: You came up a little short the last couple of years. You have been in as tough section with Cretin-Derham Hall, which won the state title. What would it mean to get to the state tournament this season?
Kendall Brown: It would mean everything because it would be the first team in East Ridge history to get to state and possibly pass that to win the state championship.
Gopher Hole: This is your brother’s last chance. You have a couple of more chances to get there. Would that make it even more special knowing that your brother would also be able to play in the state tournament as well?
Kendall Brown: Yes, because we have been growing up together and playing and this is our last year together and it would mean everything.
Gopher Hole: You have shown a lot of improvement from last year in terms of your game. What do you feel that you have shown the most improvement in from last year to this year?
Kendall Brown: By being more aggressive and working on my jump shot. Looking for my shot more.
Gopher Hole: I think a lot of people think that one of your strengths is versatility, playing a couple of different spots. Is that something you take pride in that you can play inside as well as outside?
Kendall Brown: Yes, because of my size and that I have been handling the ball since I was growing up, so they can put me at any position and I can play it.
Gopher Hole: You come from a basketball family. Your dad and your brother now. Is that where you got the love of the game, being around being around the game forever?
Kendall Brown: My dad really pushed us since we were young and it just took off from there.
Gopher Hole: I think you are up to six offers, right? Minnesota, Nebraska, St. Louis, Creighton, Iowa and Iowa State. What other schools are you hearing from besides those six?
Kendall Brown: Texas. Kansas, A couple others that I can’t remember, but I know that I got some coming.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you are so young being only a sophomore, but that has to make you feel awfully proud to have six offers from six very good schools already.
Kendall Brown: Yes, because not a lot of other kids have this kind of opportunity, so I am going to make the most of it.
Gopher Hole: Does that push you a little harder to work even harder to maybe hear from some more schools?
Kendall Brown: Yes, because I know that I got to keep moving going, even when I’m tired and it’s tough, I’ve got to keep going.
Gopher Hole: What things are you working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Kendall Brown: My defense and my motor to play harder all the time and when I am tired.
Gopher Hole: Did you get a chance to go to many college football games or visit some campuses earlier this year?
Kendall Brown: I went to an Iowa football game, Iowa State and Nebraska. I know that I really like those schools down there.
Gopher Hole: Did you get a chance to do anything at Minnesota yet?
Kendall Brown: I just visited the facility and campus.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, they have gotten new facilities. What were your impressions of the new Stadium Village?
Kendall Brown: I was surprised and actually liked it down there, because I hadn’t seen it before and I was really impressed.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, the homestate school offered you. Is that more special to you, because it is the home state school? Does that mean more to you?
Kendall Brown: Yes, it is just the whole town. It means everything.
Gopher Hole: What would it maybe mean to have the opportunity to play for the homestate school?
Kendall Brown: It would be really exciting. I would really enjoy it.
Gopher Hole: You played for the Howard Pulley AAU team? They have three freshman, Gabe Kalscheur, Jarvis Omarsa and Daniel Oturu, who played for Pulley. Would that make it kind of special to have the chance to play with them as well?
Kendall Brown: Those are my guys. I know them. I played against them in AAU and during the season and it would be really fun.
Gopher Hole: What are they saying to you? Have you talked to them much about playing at Minnesota?
Kendall Brown: Yes. Daniel wants me to come down and come to Minnesota.
Gopher Hole: You are going to have a great opportunity to play Division I basketball wherever you go. What is it going to mean to you to play Division I basketball?
Kendall Brown: It is my dream. It would mean everything. It is what I have worked for my whole life, to go D1 and then possibly pro.