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Markel Brown's other move in NOLA was just as sweet

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Lenn Robbins writes Thursday about Markel Brown's night in New Orleans, a three-hour drive from Alexandria, LA, where he played high school ball and was both Mr. Basketball and the star of a 41-0 championship year.

Brown himself bought 30 tickets but with him playing --and starting-- demand rose and by tipoff, there were an estimated 70 Alexandrians in the crowd, many who arrived Tuesday night when the Nets did.  He rewarded them with a 360-degree breakaway dunk that was just as impressive for its casualness as it was for its athleticism.  No big deal, he seemed to say.

But Robbins writes as well about Brown's other move outside the team hotel the night before the game...

Brown didn’t hang with family or party with friends on Tuesday night.

He, along with fellow rookie Cory Jefferson and center Jerome Jordan, distributed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to homeless people who were scattered around the team hotel on Canal Street, which borders the French Quarter.

When asked why Brown opted to help total strangers rather than visit with own his people, he responded with the most sincere and humbling sentiments.

"My friends and family can see me today,’’ he said Wednesday morning. "Those people needed me last night.’’

It was a total team effort. The idea to hit the streets belonged to Matt Riccardi, the Nets’ senior manager of basketball operations. He bought bread, peanut butter and jelly at a local convenience store and spent a good portion of Tuesday making sandwiches and wrapping them in plastic bags.  Then, it was up to the players to distribute them.

Fan favorite? Oh yeah. But much more than that, too.