GREAT BARRINGTON— The Monument Mountain boys’ basketball team was practicing Sunday afternoon when the news hit that rocked the basketball-loving world.
But former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s death hit especially hard for Spartan junior forward Dion Brown
In the immediate aftermath, sophomore guard Connor Hanavan had an idea: Brown and freshman guard Kyle Wellenkamp should switch jerseys for Tuesday night’s game against Lenox, giving Brown the opportunity to wear his favorite player’s number in the team’s next game.
So when Brown was introduced as the final member of the home team’s starting lineup against the Millionaires, instead of his typical number 13, a maroon 24 was etched into either side of Brown’s torso.
“Kobe was my idol growing up, he was my everything,” Brown said. “I started playing basketball because of Kobe Bryant. I did everything for him tonight.”
Brown led all scorers with 21 points, and added nine rebounds and eight assists for good measure, in a 74-54 win for the Spartans over the Millionaires, avenging a loss earlier in the season in Lenox. Hanavan had an impressive night in his own right, adding 20 points, including three 3-pointers.
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