ROCHELLE — Throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons, Noah Brown watched his older brother Austin run the offense for Rochelle Township High School’s varsity basketball team. A varsity reserve for the IHSA 3A Sterling Regional this past winter, Noah cheered from the bench as Austin and the Hubs battled against Sterling and Geneseo for a regional championship.
Having seen first-hand what it takes to succeed at the varsity level, Noah has taken the torch from his older brother, and he will look to help Rochelle back to the regional finals this coming season. While both players share the same name, their styles of play differ greatly, with Austin playing a more traditional point guard and Noah finding his role as a shooting guard.
“Austin sees the game a lot differently than other players because he has great vision,” Brown said. “He sees things that other players don’t think about. I’ve learned from him that I always have to keep my eyes open and pay attention to what other players are doing before I think about scoring. We’re very different players. We’re both very good on defense, but he likes to drive and kick the ball out and let others score. I feel that I’m a really good shooter.”
While Austin and the varsity Hubs pushed their way to a 20-12 record this past season, Noah and the sophomore Hubs were busy finishing 24-5 and bringing home an Interstate 8 Conference Championship. Another up-and-coming player with size and skill, the 6-foot guard said he’s been using the offseason to improve his handles and his shooting mechanics.
“We came together and we played really hard because none of us like to lose,” Brown said. “My role last season was to be a vocal leader and I want to be more vocal this year, especially on defense. I think I can help the offense draw defenders away from the basket with my shooting. I’ve been working on my ball handling and setting my feet when I shoot. Coach [Tim] Thompson wants me to set my feet more so I can knock down any shot.”