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Notre Dame Basketball

Top 2024 Big Man James Brown Goes In-Depth on Latest Notre Dame Visit

September 20, 2022

Notre Dame basketball hosted one of its most important 2024 targets earlier this month as St. Rita (Ill.) big man James Brown‍ made his third trip to campus for the Marshall football game. 

The 6-foot-10, 223-pounder was fired up to get to campus and once again left impressed with the hoops program. 

“It was great,” Brown told ISD. “It’s always great being in South Bend. I enjoyed the campus a lot and my time with Coach (Anthony) Solomon and Coach (Mike) Brey. It was a great atmosphere and it was a great game. It was too bad Notre Dame wasn’t able to pull it out against Marshall, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with the team.” 

Brown got plenty of time with the team as he was in the front row of Notre Dame Stadium hanging out with Marcus Hammond and Tony Sanders Jr. during the football game. Fun aside, Brown’s relationships with Notre Dame’s players have become deeper than just recognizing each other when he comes to campus. 

“I’m getting really comfortable around the team,” explained Brown. “I’m starting to have a personal relationship and the guys are helping me in my career now. I appreciate that and that’s kind of the relationship I’ve established with them.”

The four-star prospect also enjoyed his time with Brey. Notre Dame’s head man has made it clear the staff will do everything in their power to develop the St. Rita star, so he can accomplish his dreams. 

“Coach Brey’s message has been about how Notre Dame can help me develop and get me better,” said Brown. “They can help me get to the NBA as long as it takes whether it’s one year, three or four years. He wants to make me a better person and player on and off the court.

“I appreciate that from him and I value my relationship with Coach Brey.”

Brown’s NBA dreams are realistic, but he also knows he needs to prepare for life away from basketball. 

Solomon has been able to show Brown where Notre Dame can benefit him in his future plans while also building a strong relationship over the course of his recruitment.

“My relationship with Coach Solomon is really good,” Brown stated. “He’s really good friends with my parents just like he is with me. He’s real personable. He’s easy to talk to and always understanding. He’s just a good guy and I really appreciate talking to him.

“It’s bigger than basketball with him. He’s always talking about life basketball because the ball stops bouncing at some point.” 

Brown has also taken note of Notre Dame’s uptick on the recruiting trail over the last few years as the Irish landed Blake Wesley and JJ Starling. Wesley was Notre Dame’s first one-and-done and his path to the NBA is another positive for the Irish.

“It does help,” Brown said of Notre Dame’s collection of elite talent. “Any time a program is able to get a top player, it always makes you look at them and you can see what they’re doing and constantly improving.

“When I see guys like Blake Wesley, JJ Starling and guys like Markus Burton going to Notre Dame it excites me. I see Notre Dame is constantly trying to get better and constantly trying to put in pieces.” 

The Chicago native’s trip to Notre Dame was an unofficial visit as it’s just under a two-hour drive. Brown will get out and about this fall as he’ll take official visits to Duke, Illinois, Michigan State, Missouri and North Carolina. 

It’s a big set of fall visits as Brown wants to experience the student life and get a feel for the team and coaches as he plans to trim his recruitment sooner than later. 

“I’ve given it a little thought, but I’m not close to a decision right now,” said Brown. “I’m thinking I’ll cut my list down around my birthday in November before my season starts, so I can focus on trying to win a State Championship and then look at my recruitment and decision after it. 

“My decision will probably be sometime next year between the summer and the school year.”

Offers: Arizona State, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Harvard, Howard, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, LSU, Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Providence, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Western Illinois and Wisconsin 

247: 96 (four-star)
Rivals: Four-Star 
ESPN: 87 (four-star) 
Composite: 98.80 (four-star)

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