With new MCHS basketball coach Justin Brown
Q: What interested you in Moore County as your first head coaching job?
A: Moore County has a good tradition in basketball and they have great community support. Being in Memphis the past six years, we usually only had good crowds one or two games a year when we were playing one of the best teams in the city. At Moore County it will be great crowds every night, which I am excited about. Moore County also has brand new facilities which any coach would be extremely lucky to have. I have also already experienced that they have great support from the administration. Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Lindsey have been nothing but good to me and very helpful so far, and it is easy to see that they really care about their basketball program and want it to be successful. I think any coach has all the resources he needs at Moore County to be successful, and I am thankful that I am getting an opportunity to be a head coach at a place like this.
Q:What do you like so far about your team from watching film?
A: So far from the film I have watched I really like how they move and share the ball. Granted, I am only seeing film and have not been in practice, but the kids seem to play very unselfishly and try to move the basketball on the offensive end. They also shoot it well, which is always a plus. I am very excited to get to know all of them.
Q: What type of coach are you on the bench? High-energy or low-key?
A: I am certainly more high energy than low key. I don’t sit down very often. However, I also try to be as level headed as possible during games. I want to be high energy because I think players enjoy playing for a coach like that, but I also don’t want to take it too far and become overly emotional at a crucial junction in a game. So I make a conscious effort to keep a balance between the two.
Q: What’s your offensive philosophy?
A: Offensively, I believe in sharing and moving the basketball. I think basketball can be a beautiful thing to watch when teams play unselfishly and force defenses to chase and chase and chase because they move and pass the basketball so well. I also am a huge believer in putting our kids in the best position to be successful, so what we run offensively will depend largely on their skill sets.
Q: What’s your defensive philosophy?
A: I am a defensive minded coach first and foremost. A lot of our practice time will be spent on the defensive end. I am a huge believer that eliminating easy baskets and making your opponent work hard for every point they get gives you a great chance to win. I am a man to man coach and want to play man as much as possible, but again we will do whatever gives us the best chance to win.
Q: Who are your personal heroes?
A: My first personal heroes would be my parents. They both worked extremely hard to always make sure my brother and I could do things as kids that we enjoyed, particularly sports, and also always made sure we were provided for. We never had to worry about not having something we needed and that is because of the great job my parents did bringing us up. I would also consider the basketball coaches that I have previously worked for as heroes or role models. Coach Eric Mitchell of White County, Coach Blaine Mahaffey of Dyersburg, Coach Rob Sabau of St. Benedict, and Coach Paul Edwards of Southwind. They all were very good to me and gave me wonderful opportunities to learn and grow as a basketball coach under their watch. All four taught me different things and I am very blessed that they allowed me to be a small part of their programs as I have navigated through my career to this point. I look up to all four of those guys.
Q: What do you do with your time off, if you get any?
A: When I am not in the gym I love to be on the golf course. I am not very good, but I try to play as much as possible. I also love football weekends in the fall. It’s hard to beat a Saturday and Sunday watching all the excitement of college football and NFL games.
Q: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
A: It’s very cliché, but my parents both used to tell me to find something I enjoy doing and find a way to make money doing it. I always loved basketball and was a gym rat growing up, so it makes sense that I got into coaching. But I can honestly say that I have always had a job that I love, so thank you mom and dad.
Q: What will be the trademark of your first Moore County team?
A: I hope our trademark will be great defense night in and night out and playing extremely hard night in and night out. I want to build a reputation at Moore County that we are very good at what we do, and that is guarding you. I want other teams in our league to absolutely hate playing us because they know it’s going to be a struggle for them to score and they know they can’t play harder than we do. When people think of Moore County basketball those are the two things I want them to think about.
Q: How will you measure success?
A: Our success will be somewhat measured by wins and losses because I think that is just the nature of sports in today’s world. That is what every fan cares about. But personally, I will measure success by how hard we play, how coachable our kids are, and how well they represent Moore County High School and Moore County. I think sports at the high school level is really about growing and developing young men and teaching them life after basketball. If our kids act right, do right, treat others with respect, and make the school and community proud of them, then it will be a successful season. When you focus on doing those things and make a commitment to doing things the right way, wins and losses can take care of themselves.