Five-star Jaylen Brown was the star of the night Friday when he decided that he would announce his college decision in front of his classmates after the Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) senior banquet.
His unexpected co-star was Haris Kruskic, the leader of the Wheeler student section, who runs the student section’s Twitter feed.
Brown, ranked among the top three players in the Class of 2015, had been narrowing his choices last week and was reportedly down to Cal, Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina by Friday. He told Kruskic and a few friends early Friday evening that he planned to announce his college choice that night.
Kruskic tweeted that the announcement was coming. And then came the followers. And then came the blacklash as the evening wore on without an announcement and skepticism grew that it was a hoax.
The feed had 800 followers before the tweet went out about Brown’s intentions. At its peak, the number was more than 2,200, including fans of all four schools and reporters.
“I tweeted it out and I expected to pick up a few followers, but not nearly as many as I got,” Kruskic said Monday. “He just told us he was announcing (not where he was going).
“It was pretty heated on Twitter that night. When it took JB a while to announce where he was going, a lot of the schools’ fans got very tired of me and thought I was lying about it, which I would never do. I made that clear. JB and I are friends and I wouldn’t do that to him.”
“I heard Kentucky and Michigan were front runners for weeks. But I’m so happy for him,” Kruskic said. “I think it’s cool how he didn’t go with a powerhouse. He picked his favorite school, and that describes JB in a nutshell. He moves to the beat of his own drum.
“The reasons he picked Cal are because Coach (Counzo) Martin had recruited him since his middle school days, he’s good friends with Ivan Rabb, and he loves Cal in general.”
Within a few hours, the student section Twitter feed lost hundreds of followers and was at 1,058 by Monday afternoon.
While Brown is off to Cal in the fall, Kruskic will be staying closer to home at Kennesaw State University and on Sunday, he passed on the crown as head of the student section. Yes, it’s really a crown.
Kruskic said he expects Brown to remain part of the Wheeler school community even after he heads to the West Coast.
“A lot of guys stop returning to their high school once they make it big,” he said. “That won’t be JB. He loves his community.