Marietta (Ga.) Lovett School point guard Jenna Brown received her honorary jersey Tuesday as part of the McDonald’s Hometown Heroes presented by American Family Insurance.
“When I was really young I watched it on TV but it seemed very out of reach because it seemed so far away and you see LeBron and people like that playing in the game,” Brown told USA TODAY. “It had been a dream of mine to play in it until I started talking to my current trainer, Dorian Lee, and he told me in middle school I was going to be a McDonald’s All-American. That was the first time I considered it for myself in realistic terms.”
A Stanford commit, the 5-foot-10 Brown is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 point guard and the No. 20 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to ESPN. According to Brown, she was drawn to the Cardinal more by the school’s perfect blend of athletic and academic success than anything else … though the experience and passion of coach Tara Vanderveer didn’t hurt, either.
“It was best combination of both academics and athletics in the country,” Brown said. “There are other places where I could have gotten more academic and less basketball or vice versa, but I wanted to maximize both aspects of my life and Stanford is where I can do that.
“Tara (Vanderveer), talking to her, she’s so wise about basketball and life and I’m incredibly excited to grow and learn from her, so I’m excited about that.”
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Brown knows that moving her life across the country for college basketball is a daunting task, but she’s ready and excited for the opportunity. Just as if she’d stayed nearby at Georgia Tech, Brown recognizes that her future schedule will be too hectic to facilitate as much family time as she’d like, but those are the sacrifices she needs to make to get to the next level.
In the meantime, she’s focused on the growth of her game and her school’s portfolio in a remarkably interesting position with a school group called LERIG, the Lovett Environmentally Responsible Investment Group. One of just six board members for the group, Brown helps analyze investments and presents about the performance of the group’s mutual funds to the school’s full board.
Those presentations and decisions aren’t strictly academic, either: LERIG has more than $50,000 invested in the market in environmentally responsible stocks and funds.
All of that should make her very prepared for Stanford’s rigorous academic program. But before Brown gets to Palo Alto, she’ll head to the Peach State. Both McDonald’s All-American Games will be held March 28 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena.