STORRS- Caught up with Taliek Brown, who is on campus this semester to complete his degree.
“Three more classes,” he said. “Math, stats and Spanish. I hurt my knee, and I promised my mother I would do this. So it seemed like the right time.”
Brown, 30, who played in Jim Calhoun’s backcourt from 2000-2004, was the first in the current string of New York guards to come to Storrs. Kemba Walker followed him, with Omar Calhoun on the team now, Terrence Samuel next.
“I was thinking about that,” Brown said, “after I came, a lot of other kids from New York started looking into it.”
UConn had just won its first title, in 1999, when Brown came to Storrs, choosing UConn over Syracuse and . “Man, it was different – farm, cows,” he said.
But he ended up helping the Huskies win a second title, averaging 6.5 assists per game in 2003-04, getting nine points and four assists in 37 minutes against Georgia Tech in the championship game, before he left for a pro career played mostly in Venezuela, Mexico, Turkey and Canada. This week, he has been in and out of Gampel Pavilion, attending the game against South Florida on Sunday, working out with the current players between his classes. They are heading to New York to play St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.
“I was nervous for every game,” Brown said, “but even more so when we’d play in The Garden. That’s the Mecca of basketball, and every kid from New York wants to play on that court.”