NORWALK, Conn. – Basketball is a team game, and for two generations, there has been no “team” in the state better at scoring than the Brown family of Norwalk.
Earlier this month, King senior Tatiana Brown became the 12th player at the Stamford school to surpass 1,000 career points. Her sister Briana, now a junior at St. John’s, holds the school record with 2,203 points. Their father, Tyrone, scored nearly 1,148 points during his career at Norwalk before he graduated in 1986. Elisa Brown, who graduated from Norwalk in 2006, accumulated more than 900 points. Carol Brown, known as Carol Shular at Norwalk High, had 693 points before her career wrapped up in 1987.
The numbers are staggering. Add them together, and the family total approaches 6,000 points. Though it’s impossible to get all the numbers – even in this information age – the Norwalk family is likely the highest-scoring family combination in state history. The sisters are probably the highest-scoring combination as well.
“I can’t believe that,’’ said Elisa, who went on to a standout career at William Paterson University in New Jersey. “It’s an amazing, crazy thought.”
Remarkably, the family members possess a diverse set of skills. Tatiana and Carol resembled each other the closest as classic point guards. Briana, who started at King in eighth grade, had a scorer’s mentality. Many of Elisa’s points were generated off her defense. Tyrone was mostly a low-post player who dominated in the paint.
“I could never be my sister,’’ Tatiana said. “I had my own standards. I love getting assists just as much as I love scoring. It wasn’t in my nature to do a lot of scoring. I wanted to get to 1,000, but I also liked to share the ball.”
The Brown girls did not play together much growing up, with the age difference, and rarely played on the same teams. The primary reason, though, is that they were too competitive. “Sometimes we’d play in the back yard and it got a little heated,’’ Elisa said. “Mom would have to come break it up.” Tyrone also challenged the girls to shooting games at home. “He always had a swagger about his game,’’ Tatiana said. “He’d say, ‘That shot’s water.’ It meant it was all net.”
As the oldest, Elisa had to carve out a niche first. She started at age 5 in the Norwalk Biddy Basketball program. Both parents coached them at different points in their careers. Tyrone coached in the youth leagues in Norwalk, and Carol has been a longtime assistant on the King coaching staff. Elisa is now coaching as well and encouraged her sisters.
“I would show them different ways to shoot, try to correct their form,’’ Elisa said. “We always watched each other, too. I think we all learned so much from each other.”
The ink is not yet dry on the family’s scoring achievements. Tatiana still has more than a month to go. She is only the fifth King girl to top 1,000 and will likely finish third all-time among the school’s girls behind her sister and Ashley Gray at 1,392 points.
When she’s finished, Tatiana will close the book on a two-generation high school-scoring legacy. “I think we all helped set the tone for each other,’’ Elisa said. “We all wanted to get to the next level.”