Ernest Brown Almost Played for the Celtics?

I distinctly remember coming off one of my better (and only) good basketball games as a high school freshman.  I was feeling good about myself after getting the rare start and our team getting the win.  And then it happened: we came to the gym getting ready for practice the next week and Ernest Brown rolls in.  He was an 8th grader at the time, but probably about 6'8 or 6'9.  He wasn't going to be practicing with us, but was just checking out the school.  One of my teammates said "that guy's coming here next year."  My 5'4 scrawny self at the time was jilted back to reality.  'How will I still get minutes was my first thought?'

Fast forward 11 years and Ernest is on the verge of making the Boston Celtics.  Don't remember him?  He actually played in a pre-season game for Boston in October of 2004.  And then, it all came to an end:

To Brown's credit he did appear in 3 NBA games with the Heat.  And yes at one point Miami Heat fans were clamoring for his return.

If you're dying for more Ernest Brown information, including him learning from former Celtic Kevin Pritchard who served as his coach, there's nowhere else to go but here and read this thorough article by Tony Moton. It's actually really informative and even mentions Ernest's love for the #52- that's his number and he even has a tattoo of it.  (Celtics need more guys interested in numbers like 52 and 38 and 88, seeing how not many are left to choose from).

For the second time in the past month (after Mark Blount) I remember an instance in which my youth indirectly tied into future-Celtic activity.  And just like I asked Mark Blount why he blew off that New Rochelle Summer League game I gotta ask Ernest: how come you chose St Raymond's over Stepinac?  Because he did.

Yep he never wound up going to my school.  I believe he was from the Bronx so the commute up to White Plains would've been rough.  But Ernest would've been a star and absolutely gotten a superior education.  And if he made the NBA he would've been the second in our school's history to do so (after this guy).

Sigh.  What's done is done.  All I know is Ernest Brown almost played for the Celtics (and almost played for my high school).  And now, you know that too.

Ernest was this close to playing a regular season game for Boston