Top 10 of the D1 era - No. 9: Kourtney Brown
Lightly recruited forward finishes career as one of the best players in MAC history
Kourtney Brown’s greatest season came in 2010-11, when she dominated the Mid-American Conference and averaged 22.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. The MAC Player of the Year was named an Honorable Mention All-American. Courtesy of Paul Hokanson, UB Athletics
Editor's Note: The Spectrum is ranking the staff's choice for the top 10 UB athletes in the Division I era throughout a series of 10 issues. This series is admittedly subjective and debatable, and our selections are intended to create a conversation.
Kourtney Brown is synonymous with Buffalo women's basketball.
Before Brown reunited with the Bulls in her current position as an assistant coach, she was rewriting the women's basketball record books.
Brown played at UB from 2006-11. After playing in all 29 games as a freshman, she tore her ACL and medically redshirted as a sophomore. She ended her career as Buffalo's leader in games, points, rebounds and blocks. She also finished in the top three in field goal percentage and points per game.
Surprisingly, she was lightly recruited out of high school.
"When I first came here, I just really wanted to play," Brown said. "I didn't have these grand goals and great accomplishments I wanted to make. I think I said I wanted to set the record for blocked shots; that was the one goal I had."
From 2008-11, it's hard to find a category that didn't feature Brown as the leader. Brown led Buffalo in points, rebounds, field goal percentage, steals and blocks in all three of these seasons. She led the team in blocks in the 2006-07 season as well.
She totaled 1,995 points, 1,124 rebounds and 260 blocks in her 123 games with the Bulls. All four are program records, and her 260 blocks rank No. 1 in Mid-American Conference history. Brown's 16.2 points per game average is the best by a basketball player at UB in the D-1 era.
"Setting all those records is crazy, like beyond belief crazy," Brown said. "I couldn't believe I was able to do all that."
Brown's greatest season both individually and for the team came in 2010-11. She averaged 22.1 and 11.6 rebounds per game. She also shot 58.9 percent from the field, recorded 54 steals and 104 blocks and won MAC Player of the Year. She was an Honorable Mention All-American.
The Bulls finished the season 16-16, including an 8-8 record in MAC competition, and advanced to the Women's Basketball Invitational postseason tournament. It was only the second time Buffalo finished .500 in the MAC.
"Coming into school initially, I didn't have a lot of schools that wanted me," Brown said. "I didn't have a lot of offers, so to say that I could be the best player in a conference that's filled with a bunch of great players, it was humbling. It was a truly humbling experience and motivation for me for a long time."
While sitting out her sophomore year due to a torn ACL, Brown learned more about the game than ever before. She was able to listen closely and absorb all the little things her coaches talk about during games, because she didn't have to worry about the pressures of playing. It was the first serious injury of her playing career, but it inspired her to work harder for her remaining three seasons.
She also capitalized on the extra time by earning a degree in both computer engineering and electrical engineering.
After graduation, Brown played in Spain for one season. Much like she did in Buffalo, she turned a struggling team into a winner. Her CÃ¡ceres team had only won seven games the year before. In 2011-12, the team went 24-7 and lost in the semifinals. Brown averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds that season.
The following year, she was offered an assistant coaching position at UB. Despite great success in Spain, she decided to return to her alma mater.
"This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Brown said. "This university had given me so much in the five years that I was there. It would be kind of selfish of me to not come back and give it all I can."
She works primarily with the post players and serves as the main game-day scout.
Brown's 2010-11 season still ranks as one of the best years in program history. She captured single-season school records for points (708), points per game (22.1), rebounds (372) and blocks (104). The Bulls also won more games that year than in the previous two seasons combined.
Now, she looks to further the women's basketball program as a coach. Brown hopes to coach the players who break her records.
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