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Basketball: Chino Hills' Brown is finally on the map

July 28, 2008 |  3:56 pm

Ever meet one of those guys who is comfortable in his own skin? Someone who is just fine without receiving a ton of attention, a ton of publicity? Derek Brown falls into that category. The junior from Chino Hills is perfectly comfortable going about his business quietly, although things might not remain that way for much longer.

While UCLA-bound Kendall Williams from Los Osos and Mater Dei's Gary Franklin have dominated Southland headlines over the past year, Brown has been slowly, but surely making a name for himself. In fact, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington have just now discovered the 6-foot-1 point guard's undeniable talents.

"I like being the sleeper,'' Brown said. "I think people have known about me here locally for a while. And don't get me wrong, it's been cool to get some more exposure and hear my name being talked about on the national level. But it's not all that important to me. If I'm doing my thing on the court, things will handle themselves off the court.''

Brown did just that a season ago for the Huskies, averaging 13.7 points, 5.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds as a sophomore. A productive, often eye-opening effort has followed over the past couple months during the critical spring and summer evaluation periods, and he's emerged as a legitimate West Coast prospect as a result.

"Honestly, I've always felt like I've belonged,'' Brown said. "I hope people don't think I'm cocky because I said that. I am just confident in my ability. You have to be confident to succeed in anything you do. I'm not going to change the way I play, or feel, if my name does eventually get out there. I plan on taking everything in stride.''