Ohio guard Miles Brown (2) during the Bobcats' home game against Troy University, Nov. 8, 2023

Ohio guard Miles Brown (2) during the Bobcats' home game against Troy University, Nov. 8, 2023

Published February 22, 2024

Brown’s Basketball Journey

Miles Brown does whatever it takes to win for Ohio

By Bobby Gorbett | Sports Editor

Ohio guard Miles Brown’s Division I career was written in the stars or, rather, Northstar Christian Academy’s roster some nine years ago.

A very young Brown showed his athletic prowess well beyond his years as one of the most extraordinary eighth graders on his high school’s varsity basketball team. It was in Rochester, New York, seven hours northeast of Athens, that Brown became one of the greatest players in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Section V history.

He finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in Section V history. Brown punctuated his career by averaging a mind-blowing 35 points per game as a senior to become the third-highest scorer in New York State high school history.

Brown lacked the size of an average shooting guard at the high-major level to generate Power Five interest, but during his high school career, Brown did catch the eye of current Ohio Coach Jeff Boals. Boals wasn’t representing his beloved Bobcats but instead a local school to Brown, Stony Brook.

As fate would have it, Boals and assistant coach Lamar Thornton took positions at Ohio University but made sure not to forget about Brown.

A northeast kid, Brown had never heard of Ohio University, let alone Athens, but like many incoming freshmen, Brown fell in love with the campus, gelled with future teammates and made a long commitment to play for Ohio.

Brown picked perhaps the most surreal time to play at Ohio as a guard. He became teammates with one of the most talented Bobcats in decades, Jason Preston. Alongside Jordan Dartin, Preston’s play style was different from the 6-foot Brown’s play style. Preston, a future second-round pick, showed Brown how to be a leader.

“You would just watch what JP (Preston) did, and you knew that was the right thing to do,” Brown said.

Preston led the at-the-time sophomore Brown and the rest of the Bobcats to an NCAA tournament win over Virginia.

On one of the most talented offensive teams in Ohio history with the likes of future high-major players like Mark Sears and Ben VanDerplas, it’s safe to say Brown didn’t average the 34 points he did as a high school senior.

Instead, Brown adjusted to what the team needed, which was a defensive option off the bench. That’s exactly what Brown provided, and for it, he was rewarded with 17 minutes a game.

That’s not to say Brown was no source of offense for the Bobcats. In his first MAC tournament game, Brown went for 11 points in a first-round blowout against Kent State.

Ohio notoriously went on to win the MAC tournament, and Brown received his first and only taste of NCAA tournament playing time against Virginia and Creighton.

Three seasons later, Brown has gone from the defensive, athletic, reserved spark plug to Ohio’s most experienced player and one of the team’s most efficient 3-point shooters.

Brown played on two more MAC tournament qualifying teams after Preston and Sears left and Jaylin Hunter and Shereef Mitchell entered. What remained constant, though, was Brown’s drive to win.

Although many experienced players would ask to be the ball handler of the team or the primary scoring option like Brown was in high school, Brown was content doing whatever his team needed to win as many games as possible.

As a senior and fifth-year student, his teams have needed him to make 3-point shots, and Brown has stepped up to improve his 3-point percentage from 33% as a sophomore to 45% as a senior and 41% as a fifth-year.

“As I came into this program, I feel like I was just doing anything it took to win, and now, as my role gets expanded a little bit, I have to do some more on offense as well as hold up my end on defense,” Brown said.

Fans can be sure Brown will adjust again if his team requires it because that’s what Ohio’s elder statesman has done his entire career at Ohio: whatever it takes to win.

At some point, Brown, like all athletes, will have to say goodbye to the game he loves, but when that day comes, Brown can look back on the memories and accomplishments he’s had over the last decade and know his hard work has paid off.

AUTHOR: Bobby Gorbett

EDITOR: Robert Keegan III

COPY EDITOR: Addie Hedges