Vandegrift High School five-star basketball recruit Greg Brown III will stay in his hometown to play college basketball at UT, he announced via Instagram Live on Friday afternoon. Brown joins a growing list of top-rated prospects head coach Shaka Smart has brought to Texas in recent years.
Brown, currently a senior, is the No. 9 overall prospect in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 1 power forward, according to 247Sports, and is the Austin-area’s only boys basketball player to be named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year. Brown chose UT over the University of Kentucky, Auburn University, Memphis University and the University of Michigan, as well as a reported $300,000 offer to play a season in the NBA G-League.
“(Texas) was the first college to offer me in the seventh or eighth grade,” Brown said. “They talked to my dad, my uncle, my grandpa, my family over the last five years. The relationship that we’ve built for so long, I just thought it was best for me and my family to stay (in Austin).”
The Austin native is the second-highest ranked recruit Smart has landed in his six seasons with the Longhorns, ranked only behind Orlando Magic forward Mo Bamba, who spent one season on the Forty Acres before leaving to play professionally. Brown announced earlier this year he would not sign a letter of intent on national signing day (April 15), instead choosing to announce his verbal commitment on April 24.
“It was a very hard decision … (but) it was about leaving a legacy at UT, like my dad did, my uncle did, my mom did,” Brown said. “Just stepping into their shoes.”
The McDonald’s All-American joins a Texas team returning all 12 players, including senior All-Big 12 third-team guard Matt Coleman, junior guards Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones and senior forward Jericho Sims. Texas’ third-place finish in the Big 12 was Smart’s best finish in conference play in his five seasons at Texas, bringing relief to a coach on the hot seat. The University announced last month that Smart would return as head coach this coming season, one month after Brown’s father told the Austin American-Statesman that Smart’s firing “definitely will send Greg elsewhere.”
But with Smart returning as Texas’ coach, Brown has high expectations for the 2020-2021 Longhorns.
“I said it here first, we’re about to go win a Big 12 Championship, and if God says so, we’re about to go win a natty,” Brown said. “NCAA Championship.”