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The education of the Brooklyn Nets' Markel Brown

Brooklyn Nets

Growing up in Louisiana was tough for Markel Brown.  As Lenn Robbins writes for the Nets website...

His mother, Antoinette Brown, died in 2006 when Brown was 14 of complications stemming from a brain aneurism.

His uncle, David Eggins, the closest male he had to a father figure, died three months later trying to rescue two elderly women from a house fire.

His father, Damian, had been in and out prison for most of Brown’s life.

Now, he holds a degree from Oklahoma State and is an NBA player, having been drafted in June. Painful as his childhood was, Brown understands that it's helped him.

"I feel like I’m NBA ready,’’ Brown told "I feel like I’ve been through a lot. I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my life, on and off the basketball court.’’

Brown took care of his sisters, was disappointed that LSU didn't offer him a scholarship. Oklahoma State did and he became one of the Cowboys all-time greats, although his backcourt mate, Marcus Smart, got most of the attention in the media.

Now, with Shaun Livingston gone and him capable of playing both guard spots, he has an opportunity to make his mark in Brooklyn.