With March Madness upon us, we thought it would be appropriate today to assemble a different Browns roster – a basketball one.
Based on their high school careers, here is the team we have deemed competitive enough to make a run at the Final Four.
Point Guard – Joe Haden
Alongside future NBAer Sam Young, Haden led Friendly High School to back-to-back Maryland state championships in 2003 and 2004. It was natural for Haden to pass the basketball, seeing that he also served as Friendly’s quarterback. He even flashed the ability to pipe home a dunk.
Shooting Guard – Josh McCown
Cleveland’s quarterback was a sharpshooter back in his day at Jacksonville High School in Texas. As a senior, McCown was named second-team All-District. Basketball still remains close to McCown’s heart. Last year at Anquan Boldin’s charity basketball tournament, McCown tore it up – weaving in and out of defenders and throwing down dunks. Also, he and his sons routinely play pick-up on a hoop in their front yard.
Small Forward – Karlos Dansby
There was a point in Dansby’s high school career when he nearly quit football to focus all of his attention on hoops. Dansby earned all-state honors as a junior at Woodlawn High School in Alabama, building his reputation by slashing through defenses while attacking the rim.
Power Forward – Joel Bitonio
We’ve written extensively about Bitonio’s basketball career at Long Beach Wilson High School in California. For being a larger player, Bitonio gracefully compared to legendary power forward Kevin Garnett. Bitonio could drain 15-footers, handle the rock and even was tasked with guarding DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonhard – two future star players in the NBA. Bitonio credits basketball for shaping his athletic ability and elevating him to the NFL.
Center – Joe Thomas
Athletically gifted from head to toe, Thomas lettered all four years on the basketball team at Brookfield Central High School in Wisconsin. Thomas was tasked to shut down future NBAer Devin Harris in a game and did do. Thomas also served as the team captain his senior season.
Guards – Tashaun Gipson, Johnny Manziel, Taylor Gabriel, Robert Nelson, Connor Shaw
Forwards – Desmond Bryant, Armonty Bryant, Barkevious Mingo