WKU Women’s Basketball: Brown’s Back
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Ivy Brown had a storied career during her time on the WKU Lady Topper basketball team.
Now she’s back on the Hill – just not on the court, though.
“It feels really good to be home again,” said Brown.
Home for her at WKU has always been E.A. Diddle Arena – and it is once again.
“It’s just good to be back with the girls I used to play with and the new girls,” Brown added. “Figuring out all the different personalities and meshing with the new coaches as well.”
Ivy isn’t back to suit up for the Lady Tops.
She’s traded getting buckets for a spot on the bench, serving as a graduate assistant on the team this season.
“I think it would be amazing to coach in college, so this is kind of the first step,” she said.
More like a second step.
Brown spent the 2018-2019 basketball season serving as an assistant coach for the Greenwood Lady Gators basketball team.
She says sitting on the bench really forced her to truly watch the game and learn to dissect in a way she never could while she was a player.
“It’s different,” Brown said. “I don’t know that it’s really hit me yet. I know obviously I’m not going to be able to go in the game. I think having last year on the bench at Greenwood kind of helped separate that feeling.”
The learning curve is a bit steeper at the college level, but lucky for Brown, she has a “great mentor” in Head Coach Greg Collins, who served as an assistant during Brown’s career at WKU.
The pair have always had a good relationship according to Brown, even having a conversation about Ivy getting into coaching during her senior season.
That conversation turned into a role on the team this year, and Collins said it’s “a joy” to have Brown back with the program.
“She in her own way kind of knows when a player needs an are around the should and when they might need a swift kick in the butt, and say you can do it, get on back out there,” he said. “In her own way, she’s been good for the players to bounced ideas off of and get feedback from.”
Some of those players are Brown’s former teammates – Whitney Creech, Dee Givens, Alexis Brewer, Sherry Porter and Raneem Elgedawy.
Brown said it’s been a challenge to find the line between friend and coach, but the players say she’s adjusted well, and they’re happy to have a coach on the sideline who went through the same struggles they’re currently going through just two years ago.
“[Brown’s] been through this so she can really give you advice,” said Lady Tops senior guard Whitney Creech, who played two seasons with Brown. “She’s won championship. She’s been all-conference player, defensive player of the year. She brings a lot to the table.”
Brown brought a lot to the table during her time on the court, too.
She led the Lady Tops to back-to-back Conference USA Tournament championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Now she’s traded in her high tops for heels, still finding a way to make her mark on this historic basketball program.
“It just really means a lot that I can say I was a part of it and I can help it grow,” said Brown.
For Brown, this is only the beginning.