By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Jaylen Brown’s hometown listed on bios and trading cards is and always will be Marietta, Georgia. But entering his fifth season with the Celtics, the 24-year-old Brown feels at home here in Boston.
“I’ve been in Boston for five years and I’m a Bostonian now,” Brown, named one of the Boston Globe’s 2020 Bostonians of the Year, said Saturday. “A major time in my life, I’ve spent here in Boston.”
To Brown’s point, this is where he’s grown up.
Drafted as a 19-year-old after one year at the University of California (Berkeley), it hasn’t taken long for Brown to emerge as a leader both on and off the court as part of the Celtics’ promising core with Jayson Tatum and as the quiet assassin type opposite Marcus Smart’s scream-in-your-face style.
Brown’s leadership goes beyond the Boston locker room, too, as Brown was named to the player’s association executive committee at just 22. That leadership came to the forefront over the summer when NBA players wanted to ditch the Orlando bubble in the name of racial injustices around the country and Brown, who drove from Boston to Georgia to participate in a march following the George Floyd killing, reportedly challenged them and their intentions.
It’s clear that Brown’s aspirations go beyond basketball.
Since joining the Celtics, Brown has spoken at both Harvard and MIT, on topics ranging from tech to social empowerment. (He’s also repeatedly expressed an interest in taking classes at Harvard.) He’s passionate about the American education system and its need for reform, and how we can strive to fix inequality issues in everyday life.
And now, as a Bostonian, he’s focused on what he can do to help his new home in addition to continuing the Celtics’ winning traditions.
“I’m trying to be part of the solutions and not the problems here,” Brown offered. “Just trying to see where I can help out because it takes a community, and I’m part of this community now.
“[I’m] definitely trying to get more engaged and see where my help can be needed the most.”