January 12, 2023
Lexie Brown talks new role with ACC Network
'I'm so excited to talk about these girls'
As first reported by The Next, Lexie Brown, the Duke graduate and professional player in both the WNBA and Athletes Unlimited, is joining the ACC Network. Her first assignment will be in the studio for ACCN’s Thursday Nothing But Net “Ladies Night” on the network, part of a doubleheader beginning with N.C. State vs. Florida State at 6 PM ET.
After spending the bulk of her first five WNBA offseasons playing overseas, Brown is finding a pathway, at age 28, to turning her basketball knowledge into a 12-month-a-year pursuit here in the United States.
For Brown, it is part of a busy offseason — can we even call it an offseason in Brown’s case? — that also includes playing in Athletes Unlimited’s basketball season and potentially finding a new WNBA home.
“My family and I, we talked about this often in college, your first few years, you’re gonna have to put all your other dreams and aspirations on the back burner for a few years, and get your basketball together,” Brown told The Next in a phone interview. “You’re gonna have to go overseas, you’re gonna have to go through that grind, you’re gonna have to go play a lot of basketball, fresh out of college and figure it out.”
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But Brown, who has never stopped working on her game, also saved her money to help prepare her for life as a young vet. And as someone entering her sixth season, the media-savvy guard is taking a fresh look at how her knowledge can power her career.
So once a week, she’ll head to the studios in Connecticut, she said, providing insight into an ACC season that is as exciting as it is unpredictable so far.
“I love being in front of the camera,” Brown, who earned the distinction of being the WNBA’s first in-person player interview after COVID restrictions were lifted, said. “I love making content, I love interacting with my supporters. And I talk about basketball with my friends and families, literally, 24/7. So I knew at one point, I would like to bring those conversations, — I have my basketball IQ that maybe hasn’t been shown as much, so I can show it talking about the super talented girls in the ACC.”
Brown was one of those talents at Duke, but her WNBA career hasn’t been as smooth as her tenure with the Blue Devils. It took Brown, like so many in the tightly-packed rosters and rotations of the WNBA, until 2022 to find her chance to show what she is capable of at the WNBA level. Getting by far the most playing time of her career last season in Los Angeles, Brown posted the highest field goal and three-point field goal percentages of her career, while dropping her turnover percentage to a career low, all part of a seamless transition to primarily playing as an off guard for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2022.
Now, she gets to control her own destiny as an unrestricted free agent, and she’s relishing the opportunity to plan a longer-term future after spending much of her career on seven-day contracts. Last season’s AU campaign was, as she put it, “do-or-die for me”, trying to make sure she could find a WNBA contract in 2022. This season? Shot creators who hit their threes and don’t turn the ball over are a rarity, and the ninth overall pick in the 2018 draft has plenty of suitors, multiple WNBA talent evaluators told The Next.
“I finally have the opportunity to choose my destiny in the WNBA, which I’ve never really had the opportunity to do,” Brown said. “…I’ve won a championship, and I want that feeling again. So I really want to lock in and be part of a long-term plan.”
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It is merely another added value to the ACC Network that even as the WNBA free agency rumor mill is buzzing about Brown, she’ll be a consistent presence on the network’s women’s basketball showcase night. And there will be plenty of players in those games who will soon join her in the WNBA, too.
As for the ACC Network? It’s even younger than Brown’s WNBA career, debuting in August 2019. So Brown relishes the chance to spotlight the young women who have come after her, following the path she blazed.
“Just seeing how far the ACC network has come — like the fact that there’s a whole night dedicated to women’s basketball — is so amazing,” Brown said. “And I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I’m so excited to talk about these girls. And the ACC is super deep this year. It’s gonna make my job super-easy.”