EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — As a freshman and sophomore, Macy Brown excelled as a complementary scorer on two ultra-talented East Grand Rapids girls basketball teams that combined to go 36-4.
Brown later moved from the win to become the Pioneers’ primary ball handler and go-to scorer due an injury to point guard Alli Carlson.
The versatile athlete proved more than capable of shouldering the load, and her rapid development helped Brown emerge as the Michigan Associated Press Division 1 Player of the Year.
The future Michigan Wolverine becomes the second member of her family to win the honor, joining sister, Jillian, who achieved the feat in 2021.
The 6-foot Brown led her team with 25 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game this season for a team that went 15-9.
“From a skill set standpoint, I think she was equipped for the new role,” East Grand Rapids coach Troy Hammond said of Brown’s ability to run the offense as a junior. “There’s some freedom that comes with that role, but it can be a burden at times, too, to consistently be the one that’s asked to create something for yourself and your teammates.
“I think as a junior, she was sort of figuring that out. She sort of got thrust into this high-usage role probably a year before we expected that to occur. So, I think some of the adversity and lessons of her junior year allowed her to become so dominant and such a good leader for our team this year because she had sort of been through that before.”
Perhaps no game showed Brown’s ability to put the team on her back more than a 61-56 win over Redford Westfield Prep, in which she tallied 35 points and 11 rebounds on an otherwise poor-shooting night for the Pioneers.
“She’s a kid who wants to win first and foremost, and if that requires her to be a volume scorer on a particular night, she’s up for the challenge,” Hammond said. “But there were plenty of nights this year where I thought she did a good job of strategically getting other people involved. I think our team understood really well that Macy was our best player, but just because you’re the best player doesn’t mean that your teammates are always going to be OK with you taking X amount of shots.
“I think because of who Macy is, they all embraced that. I think the only way you create that type of buy-in is if you have a kid in that spot that really goes out of her way to get to know her teammates and really make them feel valued and appreciated.”
The rest of the All-State team includes Janae Tyler of Holt, Wayne Memorial’s Myla Hamm, Christian Sanders of Detroit Renaissance, Holland West Ottawa’s Gabby Reynolds, Braxcynn Baker of Lowell, Byron Center’s Lily Zeinstra, West Bloomfield’s Indya Davis and Summer Davis along with Madison Morson of Salem.
The coach of the year is Brad Wilson of Rockford.