For the past four years, Gino Brown has taken the court for the Covington Academy boys basketball squad. In his last hurrah as a Bulldog, Brown eclipsed 1,000 career points, which was a goal for the senior.
Over the offseason, Brown was intentional about improving facets of his game to help check this particular item off the list.
“I’ve been working a lot on shooting off the dribble and creating my own shot, but not trying to force shots and kind of let the game come to me,” Brown said.
Throughout the season, Brown has taken note that his high school career was coming to an end.
“After the game, it’s like, ‘This is one less game I have left in high school,’” Brown said. “During the game, I don’t really think about it. I’m just trying to think about playing well so we can win and just do everything I can for my team.”
Brown’s start on the hardwood began when he was in the fifth grade. Prior to that, he played baseball until a moment happened that piqued his interest in his current No. 1 sport.
"My whole life, I grew up playing baseball,” Brown said. “And then one day I saw my friends playing basketball outside and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I like this. This is something new.’”
From there, Brown played two years at the Newton County Recreation Department on the Seminoles and Thunder. At Liberty Middle School, he played in seventh and eighth grade as, when Brown was in middle school, sixth graders could not play.
He has played in the AAU circuit as well.
Brown then transitioned to Covington Academy where he has played high school ball all four years.
Across each season, Brown has noticed a change in himself on and off the court.
“Coming to Covington Academy, every year I’ve learned that it’s not always about being perfect, it’s about knowing when you mess up to go back and get the ball back. As long as you’re giving it 100 percent, it doesn’t really matter what happens,” Brown said. “I’ve gotten more confident knowing that I’ve put in the work and seeing the work I put in translating to the game. It makes you more confident and you start betting on yourself more.”
Head coach Trell Grimes described how special of a player Brown has been for the Bulldogs throughout his career.
“He gives you everything he has every night,” Grimes said. “He never complains and does what is asked of him regardless if he agrees or disagrees.”
When Brown graduates from Covington Academy in May, he will leave with two state titles in his freshman and sophomore seasons as well as region titles under his belt.
The state title his sophomore year is a memory that still jumps out to Brown today, too.
“I feel like that was one of my better games I played,” Brown said.
Now, with his high school graduation coming up soon, Brown is eager to continue his playing career in the college ranks.
“Right now, it’s all about, ‘I want to play at the next level,’” Brown said. “Whether it’s NEIA or Division III or even if I have to go the JuCo route for a year to get my name up there so I can transfer. But for right now, I just want to go play basketball at the next level and get my degree in business administration. So, one day I can open up my own company.”