Louise Brown has seen it all

PAYTON DINEEN | Evergreen reporter

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For WSU junior forward Louise Brown, basketball has acted as a ticket around the world. The Cougar forward has already travelled to more countries than most people get to visit in their lifetime and has no intention of slowing down.

Brown has been to more than nine countries, including New Caledonia, France, China, Spain, Lithuania, Denmark and, of course, the United States and Australia.

At a young age, the Australian native had no intentions of pursuing a career in basketball, let alone even picking one up. While participating in track and field at the age of nine, Brown was approached by a coach who said to her what nearly every tall person has heard before.

“I had a coach approach me and say ‘you’re tall, you should play basketball,’” Brown said. “I was very reluctant to start playing. I had never caught a basketball before; I don’t think I had ever even held a basketball.”

Though hesitant to pick up a ball for the first time, Brown decided to give it a shot. It only took a few practices before her attitude toward the game shifted in a positive direction, and the rest began to fall into place.

She began playing with club teams, which would eventually result in an invitation to represent Victoria on Australia’s Victoria Metro state team. Two gold medals and an International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Oceania Championship later, Brown made the jump from representing Victoria to representing Australia.

Joining the national team is where the globetrotting really picked up for Brown. The 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championships brought Brown and her team to Italy, and Brown’s favorite destination, Venice.

“It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen,” Brown said. “There is nothing in the world like it. It’s literally a city on water.”

After touring Venice, the team made their way to Amsterdam, Denmark, where Brown led the team in rebounds, averaging 8.4 per game and helping her team land a fifth place finish.

The 2013 season had Brown on the road a lot, competing in both the Under-20 Nationals and the FIBA Under-19 World Championships. After leading her state team to a gold medal in the Australian nationals, Brown jumped from Spain to Lithuania where she helped her team to a bronze medal in the Under-19 World Championships.

Brown did not begin thinking about college until her final year of high school and really had no intentions of playing basketball, and certainly not 8,381 miles away from home.

In her last year of high school, Brown went on a trip with her team to the United States and played several small colleges. It was then that Brown fell in love with the collegiate atmosphere, and decided that she would go to college for basketball after all.

After being recruited by multiple American institutions and weighing her options, Brown landed at WSU for the same reason that many others do.

“When I came here the one thing that drew (me) in was just the whole family environment,” Brown said. “Being a Cougar is like nothing you can explain until you’re actually a Cougar.”

Brown plans on returning to Europe after she graduates next year, this time as a professional player. She also plans on crossing the Bahamas off her list of destinations to visit, or someplace equally tropical.

Though travelling is something she has become accustomed to, Pullman will remain Brown’s permanent home for the next year and a half while she finishes out her collegiate basketball career with the Cougars.