Waco Chat

Having a Drink with Kalani Brown

By Kevin Tankersley

Center for the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team

“Being No. 1 [in the country] makes it so much better. Everyone’s giving you their best shot.”

After college basketball, I plan to play professional basketball. I want to travel the world, and I know basketball can take me that way. Overseas, WNBA, those are in my future, I hope.

I graduate May of 2019 [with a degree in corporate communications]. There’s a lot of different things I would like to do. I can use my degree and go into broadcasting, maybe intern at an ESPN facility somewhere.

Coaching, I’ve thought about assistant coaching. I think I have the resume for it. I could go out and recruit great post player kids and try to help someone build a program.

I love working with kids. Maybe [I’ll] move back home and help inner city New Orleans children. Sometimes they never want to leave, but sometimes what is great for you is outside of those city walls.

I’ve had a journey of eating healthy, changing my diet, changing my body. I’m from Louisiana. Need I say more? Good food. Not good for you. Just being from Louisiana and having all that good food and having to change my diet was hard for me at first.

Once I saw the results on the court, I was moving faster and running the floor more and being able to stay out there with my teammates, it made me want to do more.

Brown sat down for a drink at the juice and snack bar in the athletes-only weight room deep inside the Ferrell Center. Her drink of choice was a Green Machine boosted smoothie by the juice company Naked. “I don’t like green stuff. Thomas Lene, our strength coach, told me that I have to have greens for the energy and whatnot. I tried this and … I ended up falling in love with it.”

The worst part about road trips is sometimes the food. The best part of road trips is playing … duh.

Everyone brings a different crowd. At Texas, that crowd is huge and it’s intense and it’s great, and the fans bring a lot to the game. Being No. 1 [in the country] makes it so much better. Everyone’s giving you their best shot.

I love Coach Mulkey. She’s honest. When I first committed here, my mom [said], ‘She’s not for the weak. You have to have thick skin to play for her. You can’t be sensitive. When she stops talking to you, that’s when you should be worried.’ My mom knows. She played for her [at Louisiana Tech University].

When she’s yelling at me, it means she cares. She’s so passionate and wants us to be so great. I appreciate her, because without her, I wouldn’t be a two-time All-American or considered a high draft pick.

Because she saw something in me that I didn’t see, and that’s why she kept pushing me. Out of all my teammates, I think I get it the worst, but I think it’s because she believes in me.

Kalani Brown is the 6-foot-7 center on the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team. She’ll finish her collegiate basketball career with more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Last season she was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a member of the All-Big 12 first team. She averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game last year and is in the middle of an outstanding senior season.

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