Tulane Hall of Fame women's basketball player Keisha (Johnson) Brown died of cancer on Monday in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
April 11, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University Athletics family lost one of its all-time greats as former Green Wave women's basketball standout Keisha Brown died on Monday in Mount Pleasant, Mich., after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 41 years old.
A native of Morgan City, La., the former Keisha Johnson was a four-year letterwinner in Uptown New Orleans from 1990-94. She is survived by her husband, Damon Brown, who she married on May 24, 2003, and one daughter, Angel.
"The Tulane family lost one of its all-time great players and role models," Tulane head women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton said. "I was not fortunate enough to coach Keisha, but her impact on our program has been immeasurable. Our thoughts and prayers are with Keisha's family."
During her time in a Green Wave uniform, Brown earned Metro Conference All-Rookie Team honors as a freshman in 1990-91, claimed second-team All-Metro honors as a sophomore and was tabbed first-team all-conference as a senior. At the conclusion of her career, Brown became the first player in program history to surpass both the 1,000-point and 1,000-rebound plateaus with totals of 1,823 points and 1,048 boards.
Her rebound total, 9.4 rebound-per-game average and 465 offensive boards remain Tulane records. She also set Green Wave marks with a .609 field goal percentage (currently second) as well as 3,418 minutes played and 30.5 minutes per game (both now fifth).
Brown also finished her career second in Tulane history with 729 field goals (now third), 583 defensive rebounds (now fifth) and 222 steals (now seventh), third in points scored (now fourth), 365 free throws and 2.0 steals per game (both now sixth), and fourth with 16.3 points per game (now fifth).
Following her collegiate career, Brown played professionally in Finland for Tamperen-Pyrinto from 1994-96 when she averaged 23 points and 15 rebounds per game and was named the league's Most Valuable Player. She was elected into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
Brown's first coaching position was with the Southern Belles Basketball Club in New Orleans from 1997-2000 where she coached the squad to the 2000 to the state championship. From there, she moved to Michigan where Brown became the junior varsity coach for the Sacred Heart Academy girls' program in 2001 while also coaching the AAU Central Basketball Club in Mt. Pleasant.
In 2002-03, she coached the junior varsity boys at Sacred Heart before becoming head coach in 2003. Brown coached Sacred Heart Academy boys' basketball from 2003-09 where she put together a 114-30 record. She led the Irish to five straight conference titles, four district championships, three regional crowns and a runner-up showing in Class D in 2006. In addition, she also served as a Principal and Athletic Director during her tenure at the school.
Brown was later named head coach at Alma (Mich.) College's women's basketball team on July 1, 2009, and spent the next five years at the helm of the Scots' program before resigning from the position earlier this year.
After being diagnosed with cancer in June 2007, she created the Angel Wings Fund. The fund set up college scholarships for children who have lost a parent to cancer. She also served as a motivational speaker to help raise cancer awareness to youth audiences.