This is the full version of the article that was in the Herald News on Wednesday, January 10
In 1979, Sister Sledge, an American Vocal group recorded the song WE ARE FAMILY. The first lines of the song “We are family, I got all my sister and me….” For Lady Hawk Presley Brown it has certainly been a family affair, following example of her three older sisters.
The Brown family (Kaelyn, Danielle, Ivy and Presley) has spent the last eighteen years giving us plenty of entertainment on the playing court/field. Though they have played nearly every sport from volleyball to softball, most LaRue County fans are familiar are familiar with the success each has had in basketball.
As I put this article together it became evident the success of the Brown family stems from the many sacrifices made by the parents David and Michelle Brown.
Kaelyn, the oldest of the siblings admits her parents were a huge factor in the success as student-athletes. “With having, four girls and full time jobs my parents were very busy but they always had us at practices and came and supported us at every game. I remember Dad coming straight to the ballpark with his barn clothes and boots on when we had the dairy farm.
“In addition, when any other opportunity (travel teams, AAU teams) came up to make us better players they did all they could so we could play on those teams. When we were growing up Dad would always be our coach and of course work with us at home. I think we just grew up around sports and it was just part of our lives. When I was young I remember traveling and watching my dad play softball and going to watch both Mom and Dad play co-Ed volleyball.”
Ivy points out, “My parents made many sacrifices over the years for me. They drove me all of the country to play AAU in the spring and summer, spent hours in a gym watching me workout or play games. They have been my biggest fans and critics over the years but without their sacrifices, I would not have an opportunity to be playing basketball still. They always taught me to work hard and respect my coaches, which I’ve carried with me through high school and college and is another huge reason I’ve had success.”
Danielle says, “My parents were crucial in our success. Growing up my dad would always help coach our little league teams, in whatever sport it was. At an early age, they taught us to work hard, be respectful, and that if we were going to do something we were going to give it our all. They never let us complain about coaching or other players, but helped us to see what we were doing wrong and how to be better. If we were playing travel ball, they took us all over the places and spent countless hours and money to get us there. They pushed us, but also made us understand that we had to want to push ourselves to be the best.”
Presley is in the midst of her final season as a Lady Hawk basketball player, after completing a stellar season/career as a volleyball player. She had some health issues to begin her senior basketball season; however, she is slowly getting her rhythm back. In addition, in the spring she will conclude her high school athletic career with softball.
Head Volleyball coach Ben Schell reflects on the impact of Brown. “Presley is just one of those athletically gifted kids that any coach would be excited to have the time to work with. I think Presley liked being a part of the volleyball team, because it gave her a relief of the stresses of basketball and gave her the opportunity to play a sport that just came rather naturally to her. I have watched her grow as a player each year. This past season, she was an integral part of our offense and defense and was really one of the top two or three players in the region. It was only fitting that Presley was the player who scored the last point of our first ever 18th District volleyball championship win.”
Head Softball coach Rocky Cundiff concurs with Schell on the impact Brown has had on his team. “Presley has played a big part in the success we have had here with the Lady Hawk Softball program. She has a student of the game mentality and is quick to ask questions about the many situations and obstacles this evolving game throws at us. She will point out things to teammates just as a coach would.”
Head Girls Basketball Coach James Slaven is proud to have coached Brown the past two seasons. “Presley has had a tremendous career at LCHS, and I do not think most people are aware of how good she has been. She is the fourth daughter in that family to come through here, and all four have made significant contributions. Presley may be overshadowed at times, but her career numbers are among the best of any Lady Hawk player we have had. She currently is in the top ten in eight different statistical categories. At her current pace, she would end up third in career points, second in steals, 3rd in rebounds, 3rd in blocks and 5th in games played. In addition, she will end up being the all-time leader in career assists. That shows you how much she works to get her teammates involved. That is the type of player she is and has become.”
Sister Ivy admits Presley has the most natural ability of the sisters. “It comes very easy to her. She can shoot the ball, rebound, take it coast to coast, and penetrate the defense. I think what I am most impressed with is her passing ability and how she sees the floor. She can read the defense and see a pass before the defense even has time to react. That’s probably my favorite part of her game as well, because it shows her desire to get others involved.”
Sister Kaelyn echoes Ivy’s sentiments. “Presley’s athleticism is so natural with all sports she plays. Sometimes it looks like she does not even try but makes that great pass or play on the softball field. She just plays it cool most of the time, but I love it when she shows some emotion out on the court. She loves to compete, win, and see her teammates succeed.”
Sister Danielle who also serves as an Assistant Coach on the Lady Hawks team sees Presley on a daily basis and compares Presley to her three older sisters. “Presley is special. She can do many things well: score, rebound, defend, but I think the best thing about her is her court vision. She sees plays before they happen, and then is able to make sure they happen. I think being the baby of the four of us, she has taken a little bit from each of us, and it had made her the player she is.”
Presley admits she loves to play and compete in all three sports (volleyball, softball and basketball). “Playing three sports also keeps me in shape, and it allows me to gain skills that help in the different sports I play.”
Presley goes on to say, “My family has had a huge impact on my athletic career. With having three older sisters that played multiple sports, that is all I knew growing up. With all three sisters being successful in all the sports they played, it kind of put pressure on me to be just as successful as they did. I was lucky enough to play with Ivy her senior year and now Danielle has been on the coaching staff since my sophomore year. My mom and dad have always pushed and motivated me to compete and be the best at every sport that I play.”
Presley will take her basketball talents to Bellarmine University this fall. “I decided to sign and play basketball at the college level, because I realized that I wasn’t ready to give basketball up, and I love the game and competing. Also, getting the opportunity to play basketball and get a free education is important to me.”
Coach Slaven concludes by saying, “Seeing her sign her letter of intent was a proud moment for me personally. It was the school she had mentioned as her favorite choice, so seeing her work hard this summer and get that offer this fall made me happy for her and her family. I have told the Bellarmine coaches they are getting a kid who loves the game and has the best court vision of any kid I have ever coached. I have coached several kids who played collegiately and Presley is one of the 2-3 best players that I have worked with. There is no doubt that she will be successful at the next level and I know she will make us all proud that she was a Lady Hawk.