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Jamaica native helps lift Lincoln High to state title

Jamaica native Klay Brown decided to transfer to Lincoln two seasons ago and the Railsplitters star’s choice paid off on Saturday with a state championship.
File photo by Robert Cole
By Laura Amato

GLENS FALLS — Klay Brown knew it sounded crazy.

He absolutely did not care.

The Jamaica native wasn’t happy with his situation at Christ the King, so the basketball standout decided to do something people questioned. He transferred to Lincoln High School in Coney Island two years ago with one very specific goal: win a state championship.

On March 25, that goal was finally achieved.

Brown and the Railsplitters rolled to an 80-63 victory over Long Island Lutheran in the NYS Federation “AA” championship game at the Glens Falls Civic Center and for the senior, it was everything he wanted and more.

“That decision was the best thing I ever did,” said Brown, who finished with 12 points and three steals in the title game. “I’m proud of it and I’m happy I was able to be coached by [Dwayne “Tiny” Morton]. It was a great experience. The last two years, to be on the top right now, it feels like everything.”

Of course, Brown’s decision was not without a few caveats. His trip to school every day is a fine-tuned system of buses and subways and transfers, all of them having to time up perfectly to make the hour and 15 minute trek from Queens to Brooklyn worth it.

“That’s a trip,” Brown said. “I take the Q11 to the E train and then I take the E train all the way to the city. Then I get on the J to and then I take the A and then take it one stop to the C and then I take the shuttle and then the Q or the B train. And then after that I’ve got to take another bus.”

Brown’s journey to Coney Island is a bit like his basketball game – a well-planned attack that mirrors his approach on the court. He’s just as ferocious in the paint as he is behind the arc and while there were plenty who doubted his transfer choice, Brown has relished the opportunity to prove them all wrong.

“I like doing that,” he said. “Our team, one day, one person is going to be hot and then the next day another person is going to be hot. We all were consistent throughout the year.”

Brown’s road to championship glory was never easy – even in the title game. The Railsplitters watched a 22-point lead shrink to nine early in the fourth quarter, but Brown never lost hope. He was going to win and he was going to do whatever he had to do in order to make sure his teammates thought the same thing.

“I just told everybody, we’re going to be alright, to just play through it,” Brown said. “We’ve been in this situation. We know how to handle it and we trust in our coaching staff.”

Brown always had an inkling he’d end up at Lincoln. He went to a Railsplitters practice in eighth grade, but didn’t enroll at the school after Morton told him he was too short for the team.

Brown, eventually, grew, as did his game and his desire to be a champion. There were tears in his eyes when the final buzzer went off, realization of what the squad had accomplished, finally, setting in. Now that he’s wrapped up his senior season on the court, Brown is ready for the next step, anxious to make the next decision.

He still refuses to listen to anyone who questions him.

“It’s relief, it’s all relief,” Brown said. “All the negative energy for the last two years, now I know I’ve overcome everything. What can they say to you now?”

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