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April 17, 2024 4:26 am

UMO’s Brown signs first professional basketball contract

MOUNT OLIVE — Recent University of Mount Olive men’s basketball graduate Michael Brown has signed his first professional basketball contract with GKK Sibenka of the HT Premijer Liga, the first tier level men’s professional basketball league in Croatia.

A 5-foot-10 guard, Brown had a breakout senior campaign at Mount Olive and earned Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association Third-Team All-American status. He became the program’s first All-American selection since 2016 after earning first-team all-region and all-conference accolades for the Trojans. Last season, Brown delivered one of the best statistical seasons in the history of the men’s basketball program and became the only player at UMO to eclipse 1,500 points and 600 assists in a career.

“Truly excited to be signing my first professional contract,” Brown said. “I would like thank all the Mount Olive coaches and staff for their commitment to my development. I would also like thank my family for all their support.”

A native of Winchester, Va., Brown finished ninth across all three NCAA Divisions with a single-season record 207 assists and tied for seventh in NCAA Division II with a school record 718 points. He led all of Division II with 38.2 minutes per game while ranking among top 20 in the country in field goals (206) and free throws (178). Additionally, Brown led the Conference Carolinas in assists per game (6.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35) and three-point attempts (226). He averaged 23.2 points per game for the Trojans and tallied five 30-point performances, including a 42-point game on Feb. 16 versus Emmanuel.

“Super proud of Mike for earning his first professional contract. Glad to see the countless hours he put in over the years at UMO paid off for him and his family,” said UMO head coach Dory Hines. “Mike has sacrificed so much. He is more than a great player; he is a great teammate and father. Go, be great Mike!”

Brown is set to travel to Croatia next month to continue preparation before the season begins in October. GKK Sibenka closed out last year with a 13-19 overall mark to place fifth in the HT Premijer Liga and lost in the quarterfinals of the postseason. Brown is signed with FlyBasket Agency, which was founded in 2022 by former Croatian basketball player Ivan Mikulic.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics