High School: Shannon Brown

Doc Rivers still faithful to Proviso East

November, 12, 2012
[+] EnlargeDoc Rivers
AP Photo/Jessica HillDoc Rivers keeps track of the continued success at Proviso East.
CHICAGO -- Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers may be 20-plus years removed from his playing days at Proviso East High School in Chicago’s western suburbs, but he’s still loyal to the program.

Prior to Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, Rivers was asked how he felt about Proviso East being back on the rise after reaching the IHSA Class 4A state championship last season. It was the first return trip to the finals since 1992.

“What do you mean on the rise?” Rivers said in a harsh tone. “They’re always on the rise.”

Rivers was only joking, but he does really still keep close tabs on Proviso East. And the Pirates, for the most part, have been one of Illinois’ most consistently successful programs. They’ve reached 14 state tournaments, won four titles and have produced past and present NBA players like Rivers, Jim Brewer, Donnie Boyce, Sherell Ford, Michael Finley, Shannon Brown, Dee Brown, Reggie Jordan and Steven Hunter.

Plus, like in Rivers’ day, Proviso East still wears jerseys with sleeves.

“Proviso East is what it is,” Rivers said. “You know what it is. It’s a heck of a school. For basketball, I don’t know if there’s any place better in the country, not only in the state, as far as the history of it."

Rivers does still keep close tabs on Proviso East, too. He often talks with his brother Grady Rivers, who still attends games, and Boyce, the current Proviso East coach, about the team.

Boyce said their conversations are important to him and his players.

“It means a lot,” Boyce said. “He’s not only a friend, but a mentor to me. I’m always taking things from him and watching him coach. He helps pass my message to the players and show what the program is all about when he talks to them.

Boyce even one day hopes to follow Rivers’ footsteps into the NBA as a coach.

“I want to coach at the highest level,” Boyce said. “I want to attack it just as when I was a player.”

Proviso East enters this season as one of the state favorites again. The Pirates’ roster includes SMU recruit Sterling Brown, Shannon’s younger brother, and Illinois State recruit Paris Lee.

Maywood's Brown to host first music fest

August, 13, 2012
Basketball was Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown's ticket out of the streets.

Brown, a six-year NBA veteran, is now hoping to provide others their ticket out. He will be raising money for The Shannon Brown Foundation, which provides college scholarships to high school students, while hosting the inaugural Wood-Star Music Festival at Union Park in Chicago from Friday to Sunday.

The fest will include an R&B music lineup of Robin Thicke, Monica, Estelle, Dawn Richard and Fantasia, a celebrity basketball game and an old-school hip-hop lineup with Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Rakim, MC Lyte and Naughty By Nature.

“It hurts me every time I hear about (the shootings in Chicago),” said Brown, who is from Maywood, Ill., and attended Proviso East High School. “That’s one of the reasons I want to bring something positive to the city. It affects me. It’s the same thing I’m from. Same streets I walked. Same people I come connected with. It definitely needs to stop. The scholarships are a way of getting out.”

Brown assembled the music lineup with his wife and R&B artist Monica, and their hope is to have the fest become an annual one and grow with time.

“If you’re going to do it, make it the biggest thing possible,” Brown said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. A whole bunch of great artists like my wife, old-school rap, everybody loves that. Coming where I’m from, sports and music are the two things that everyone wants to do in life. Hopefully, it gets to a Lollapalooza status.

“I’m definitely excited. It’s definitely surreal. It’s probably going to hit me real big when I see it.”

More information about the festival can be found at www.woodstarmusicalfestival.com.