Tiqueece Brown: Respect and Empathy Balancing the Player and Person
By: Michael Aaron Chase Jr.
When many young men choose to take part in football, usually they look to gain something from the events they experience over time. Each individual aspires for different things in football with some going through it looking for physical accolades. From trophies and awards, to money or a professional contract. Individuals also seek through this opportunity to strengthen and practice their own personal values, as well as, working to prove wrong their doubters and grow as an individual. For most athletes finding the balance between the aspirations of these two types of accolades is key in growing as a quality athlete and individual on the athletic stage. Tiqeece Brown, a young football player I had the pleasure to interview recently depicted these values and explained their correspondence to him and his football career. Through our conversation I was not only able to learn about him as a player but his value systems and the philosophies he stands by that fuel his character as a football athlete.
Tiqeece Brown, 23 years old, grew up in Shelby, North Carolina. He grew up with a military influence in his family, with his father serving as a member of the military. Which as Brown stated helped entrench the values of respect, hard work, and discipline. Which is why it was not surprising to me when Brown spoke on how adamant his father was about getting him into football. As Brown said to me,” he pretty much told me you are going to play football, it is important for growth.” Thus Brown clearly had football painted as a key experience to have in his life. Brown said he began playing football at the ripe old age of 6 years old. During 1st grade is when he said he first began playing football competitively at the position he has found a home at today, that being Linebacker. Brown also played fullback during this time.
Brown as he described has gone onto play more exclusively as a linebacker/safety hybrid during his high school and college days. He has played these positions at a high level despite his, “undersized stature for the positions at 5’9” as some pundits have told him. See link below:
Brown played his high school ball at Burns High School in Lawndale, North Carolina. Brown when I asked about his best memory from his High School days he stated, “I remember loving the process and the grind of working hard each day.” As well as saying, “the comradery of teammates made each and every game, practice, and experience worthwhile.” Brown then recalled one of his best highlights of his high school career being his 91 yard interception return TD his junior year. Certainly talking about it as an exciting moment he will not forget. Brown then moved on to play college football at Winston Salem State University. While taking part in the football program Brown was apart of great achievements from helping the program win two Conference championships in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. To recalling some of his most memorable highlights, such as forcing a fumble on a kickoff during a game. To even when he described his big hit on a 6-3 280 lb. fullback that as he said, “broke his chinstrap and popped his helmet clean off.” See Highlight link Below; #32 Linebacker:
Brown said, “These plays gave me an adrenaline rush that really excited me to play each game.”
We also spoke on who has influenced him the most during his football career so far. Brown stated,” my main muse was my father as he always pushed me to know that pride and respect are important.” Also stating, “as well as making the family name look good. Representing yourself how you want to always be viewed both on and off the field.” He also talked about his old high school coach named Michael Jason Barnes. He spoke at length on how Barnes still works him out in the summer to help him improve his technique and game. Brown described, “He took time to work with me when he did not have to. For that I appreciate him and I am very grateful.” Brown went on about how most coaches bring you in, work with you during your time with them, then send you off. But he stated how great this relationship has been and grown over time. Certainly a quality mentor for Brown to have down the road.
Our conversation transitioned then to a more personal level as far as what Brown both learned from and what he believes others can gain from football. We started by discussing his greatest achievement so far in football. Brown said,” It was gaining the respect of my peers around me, as well as, learning to respect the game and people.” Also stating, “I learned I can play, I just need an opportunity.” We also talked about the significant lessons he learned during his experiences in football as well. Brown depicted, “I learned about rolling with the punches and learning how to face adversity as an individual.” Also stating,” It helped teach me to remain disciplined. Control what you can control.” Concluding with, “Keeping my head buried, doing work, and knowing results will come.” We then finished with what football can offer people who get involved in it. Brown explained,” it offers satisfaction, a chance to reap what they sew. It helps release stress almost therapeutic in a way.” Also describing,” it offers a chance to build character, facilitates life skills. Ultimately sports had an effect on how I carry myself.” You can definitely tell Brown has grown a lot thanks to football.
We then transitioned the conversation back to football regarding his pro career aspirations along with his participation in the Beyond Sports Network Combines. Starting with if he is trying to pursue a pro career he responded,” yes it always has been a dream of mine.” He talked on how he sees himself as a professional caliber player. While explaining,” I would not mind going to the CFL or Arena League, in any instance I would be a professional football player.” So clearly Brown just wants an opportunity to show his talents. We talked then about the Beyond Sports Network Combine he took part in and is going to do again this December 16th. Brown said he participated in the Combine this past March and about two weeks later had a potential suitor contact him about a tryout. He said, “I was happy. I just went in full tilt and all the way to put on a good showing.” He also described his experience overall saying,” Jimmy Kibble and his staff make people feel good and encourage them. They are very interpersonal during the process. And have real good aura about them.” So clearly he enjoyed the environment created by the BSN staff. When it came to what he looked forward to for the December Combine he talked about improving performance. Brown said, “I want more opportunities to better my times. Especially improve my 40 time.” Also saying, “I do really well in drills, and love the position drills. I just don’t test well in the combine events” Basically saying he is a better on field, in the moment performer then controlled setting performer to a degree.
Overall Tiqeece Brown’s self-growth as a player and person he feels only helps his future. Going from an aggressive contact loving linebacker to learning every hit does not have to be a big one. Stating, “You wanna last, and have to measures the shots you take to have longevity.” Brown though has been told by scouts he is too small. But Brown said he has always believed when pads are put on anyone can play with anyone. Also stating, “You cannot measure my heart.” But even if football does not workout, Brown is also working to be a lawyer. He graduated this past May getting a degree in political science. He is in a Pre-law program, with a dream of being a Human rights lawyer. Saying his philosophy is, “Care about people, right those wronged.” Brown even said one offer he got to try out and play for a professional team would have compromised his schooling and as he put it,” it was too late in the game to back out and not finish.” So Brown not only has an athletic dream but another avenue to follow if his first love does not fully workout. Although from my time talking with him he clearly has a great value system in all aspects of his life in place. So Tiqeece Brown I believe has found balance in his life aspirations not only what he wants to get out of football, but out of all aspects of his life.