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Point guard uses camp to prepare for next level

By Jeffery Armstrong

Rising freshman Jaron Brown just made basketball camp history.

The young point guard came through the Clayton State Middle School Basketball Camp and is now playing for the Forest Park Panthers in the Clayton State High School Basketball Camp this week.

"He's the first middle-school camper we've had to come to our high school camp," said Clayton State head basketball coach and camp organizer Gordon Gibbons.

The high school camp started Sunday, June 15 and ends on Thursday.

Brown, a graduate of Babb Middle School, was part of a championship team last season. This summer, he's getting his first taste of high school action. He said there's a difference between playing basketball at the middle school level and playing high school basketball.

"The guys in high school are much more competitive," said Brown. "They play really hard."

Brown gave a good accounting of himself in a game against the Lovejoy Wildcats Tuesday night, even though Lovejoy defeated Forest Park rather handily.

Brown said he really has a point guard's mentality on the court.

"I am all about putting the team first n I try to get myself involved later," said Brown. "I'll shoot when the team needs me to shoot."

Former Babb head basketball coach Steven Cole, now head coach at North Clayton High, praised Brown for his willingness to get his teammates involved. Brown told Cole that playing with high schoolers is intense. He also told Cole that he didn't have any turnovers so far in summer camp play.

"Jaron's a great team player; he loves to get others involved," said Cole, who's the first coach to roam the Clayton State sidelines in the middle and high school camps. "He has a great attitude and he's also a good student. He should be an asset to Forest Park for years to come."

Forest Park head basketball coach Lamar Oglesby is so impressed with Brown that he probably will play him on the junior varsity team instead of the freshman team.

"I'm excited about Jaron. I think he can contribute on a higher level," Oglesby said. "Point guard is a need on our team and we will introduce him to the varsity level at some point. I believe we have a vision of our future."

Brown feels confident he can do the job at Forest Park.

"I just have to take it one game at a time," said Brown. "I'm really ready to play."