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A Rookie's Journey to the CEBL: How Rashawn Browne Made the Jump to Professional Basketball

December 10, 2020 - Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) - Saskatchewan Rattlers News Release

Saskatchewan Rattlers guard Rashawn Browne has had a unique path to the CEBL. As a high schooler, Browne began his basketball journey with Grassroots Canada, an elite AAU program based out of Toronto, ON. Playing in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) circuit provided Browne with the exposure he needed to be recruited to a NCAA Division I school. When playing in a Las Vegas Tournament, Browne was recognized by the New Mexico State University Aggies of the Western Atlantic Conference. Browne would go on to accept a scholarship from the Aggies, achieving a lifetime goal.

"It was always a goal of mine to take the burden off of my family to pay for my education," Browne states.

During his time at New Mexico State, Browne shared the court with NBA talent; namely, Toronto Raptors' star Pascal Siakiam. The increased level of competition Browne faced while at New Mexico State helped shape him into the skilled guard that he is today.

"Coming out of high school you are used to being the number one option, but at New Mexico State that was no longer the case, I had to learn how to become more of a facilitator."

After a season with New Mexico State, Browne made the tough decision to transfer schools. He transferred to California University of Pennsylvania for one season then returned home to Canada, playing his final three years of university basketball at the University of Manitoba. The decision to transfer schools was never an easy one for Browne.

"It wasn't easy at all, the whole time I was playing in the United States it was a grind, but it prepared me. It prepared me for dealing with adversity and never getting too high or too low."

Upon Browne's transfer to the University of Manitoba, he was given the opportunity to showcase his talents. "When I got to Manitoba, I was given the keys again, I was given the freedom to show all I had learned down south."

It is at the University of Manitoba where everything clicked for Browne. Simply put, a star was born. Browne's long list of awards and accolades while at the University of Manitoba include: 2x team MVP, University of Manitoba Male Athlete of the Year, First Team Canada West All-Star, and U SPORTS All-Canadian second team. In addition to Browne's individual success, he created a winning culture for the University of Manitoba. During his final season, Browne lead the University of Manitoba to the most wins in school history while playing in the Canada West Conference.

Browne demonstrates his competitive nature when reflecting back on his senior season. The final moments of his university career left him with a chip on his shoulder and a sense of unfinished business. Browne remembers, "The moment that meant the most to me was a loss against the University of Alberta in my final game. The loss is what made me want to pursue a professional career. He continues, "I had an opportunity to win the game for us with a buzzer-beater three and I missed it."

Following his university career Browne was selected eighth overall in the 2020 CEBL draft by the Saskatchewan Rattlers. Browne experienced great success as a rookie playing in the CEBL Summer Series averaging 8.5 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds and was the CEBL Rookie of the Year runner-up.

In Browne's rookie season he developed as a leader and floor general in midst of an unconventional season. Browne's unique path to professional basketball has molded him into the skilled, tough and resilient player he is today.

"I really enjoyed the CEBL Summer Series. I was able to learn lots and I got to play with a bunch of veterans. We obviously didn't get the results we wanted, but I was able to develop my game further and hope to use those tools again in 2021." 

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