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Kylan Brown reflects on senior year at Southside High

Southside High forward Kylan Brown planned to spend part of spring auditioning for Women’s Junior College basketball teams.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Brown to put those plans on hold.

Gov. Kay Ivey ordered the closing of high schools, resulting in students finishing the year taking online classes two weeks ago. Last week, Ivey issued a stay-at-home order, except for work, food and grocery shopping.

“It’s very frustrating that you can’t go certain places and do certain things,” Brown said.

Brown said it’s disappointing not to try out and end her high school career on a good note.

“It’s very frustrating, I wanted to graduate with my classmates and be at school for the last two months,” Brown said. “I wanted to celebrate graduating with them.”

Being reduced to studying online, Brown admits, is tough.

“It’s challenging to do the work online,” Brown said. “It’s really sad that I don’t get a chance to finish at Southside High.”

Not getting a chance to find an opportunity at extending her hoops career is more disappointing for Brown.

The 5-foot-10 Brown tried for Bishop State Community College and planned to work out for Wallace Community College-Selma.

Brown, who made The Selma Times-Journal’s All Dallas County girls basketball team the last two years, averaged 17 points and 15 rebounds a game as a senior.

“I’m glad that I got a chance to play basketball before the virus hit,” Brown said.

Southside girls basketball coach Rand Smith said Brown played a big role in rebuilding the Lady Panthers’ basketball program.

“Kylan is part of a group of young ladies that helped turned around our program. I will always be grateful for her many contributions to building on the foundation laid by those before her.”

Smith also said that he enjoyed watching Brown develop into an All-star. She played in the State All-Star basketball game last summer.

“At first, Kylan did not realize her own potential.,” Brown said. “She was naturally talented enough to succeed in many areas of the game but needed to be pushed to reach her potential. I will always remember when the light came on for her and she embraced the grind required to truly improve. I’m most proud of the growth of her leadership ability.

“While her senior year did not end the way any of us hoped for, Kylan worked in a way to end her high school career with her head held high. I will also always remember sharing the AHSAA All Star Week with Kylan and the great memories we will always have. I look forward to and am honored to continue supporting her as she continues to grow in basketball and life.”

Brown looks forward to extending her basketball career when the opportunity arises.