Basketball: Pelham High grad Keith Brown takes his talent to Endicott CollegeBy MICHAEL ABELSON
Special to the Union Leader
December 16. 2017 9:50PM
In basketball, there's a fine line between being a lights-out shooter and being reckless with the ball.
Keith Brown has made a career out of toeing that line with fantastic results. A 2016 graduate of Pelham High, Brown amassed 1,978 points as a Python and led Pelham to a pair of state titles.
Now, Brown has taken his talents to Endicott College, where the buckets have kept falling. After a freshman season where he battled injuries and watched as a veteran-heavy squad advanced to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16, Brown has taken over as the leading scorer on the team. His 25.8 points per game is the sixth best in all of Division III.
"That was an easy one for us," Endicott coach Kevin Bettencourt said of recruiting Brown. "Keith's a special player. I know if we were able to recruit him he could be a transitional type player for us in the program. We were thrilled when we got him."
Brown's skill with the ball in his hand has translated into success for Gulls. Brown is tied for the team lead in rebounds with 5.3 a game and shoots 47 percent from the field including 48.8 percent from three. The Gulls sit at 6-2.
Brown was recruited by Keene State, Merrimack and St. Anselm but ultimately chose Endicott for its academics and how he felt he fit into the team.
"I thought I fit the system well, better than the other schools that recruited me," Brown said. "Coach B's a great coach. I love the way he coaches. All these guys are my guys. I fit it with all of them."
Against rival Salem State on Tuesday night, Brown went for 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished three assists. Just as important as his on-ball game is what he does without the ball. Brown was constantly setting screens in the interior to open lanes for his teammates as well as clogging lanes defensively.
"The better screener and cutter he becomes, the more he helps our offense because he draws so much attention," Bettencourt said. "When Keith sets a screen often two guys will end up staying with him and open up other people. We have a lot of guys who can make shots and plays around him. Keith is a team-oriented guy. When he's playing with his other teammates the team becomes pretty unguardable."
Matt Regan, now coaching Bishop Guertin, was Brown's coach at Pelham. He said Brown's coachability played a big role in his development. Regan tested Brown, and his squad, throughout the year with tough summer and autumn schedules.
Brown became one of the all-time leading scorers in the North Andover Fall League under Regan, a tournament that has featured the best from New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
"When you have somebody that wants to win as much as you do, and someone that cares about the game as much as you do, you can never get mad at a guy like that," Regan said. "He's a guy that's always proved everybody wrong. I don't know if you can set a ceiling because he'll take that and try to prove you wrong. For him his ceiling is whatever he wants it to be."
Brown leads a large group of Granite Staters for Endicott, a program with a recent history of success mining talent from New Hampshire. Kamahl Walker, a Portsmouth native, graduated last season as Endicott's all-time leading scorer.
This year's roster includes five players from New Hampshire including Brown.
"New Hampshire's been really good to Endicott," Bettencourt said. "We'll take them wherever we can get them. People in New Hampshire know how good Keith Brown is so I think they'll respect our program knowing we have a guy like him in it."