Practices are underway for the Michigan women’s basketball team, with the 2023 freshmen class getting their first chance to interact with the returning Wolverines.
That class is headlined by Macy Brown, a standout guard from East Grand Rapids. Brown averaged 25 points per game last season, earning honors as the 2023 Michigan Miss Basketball and being named the 2023 Associated Press Division I Player of the Year.
Brown grew up a Michigan fan, and in an interview with Maize n Brew, she seemed beyond excited to play for her dream school.
“I feel like all my life, I grew up watching the women’s team,” Brown said. “Growing up, ever since I can remember, my family and I would go to a bunch of Michigan games. That’s when I knew I wanted to play for them, but when my sister (Jillian Brown, who played two seasons at Northwestern and is now at Virginia) went on her official visit and I came along with her, that’s when I knew I wanted to go to school here.”
When asked about her biggest strengths on the floor, Brown described herself as someone who slashes to the rim and can pull up from mid-range. She got better at playmaking and making the right reads her senior year, along with finishing through contact.
Troy Hammond, her coach at East Grand Rapids High School all four years, realized she was going to be a special player in a marquee matchup during the 2020-21 season.
“Her sophomore year, she’s got her older sister, who was a Miss Basketball finalist on her team, and we’re playing against Kalamazoo Central who had a Miss Basketball candidate as well,” Hammond said. “It was supposed to be a matchup of two of the best seniors in the state of Michigan and we end up winning, and Macy had 25 points and kind of stole the show. That was the moment for me when you realize a particularly special talent that you’re able to work with.”
Chemistry off the court is a big reason why Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico has been able to build a successful program. In her first few weeks on campus, Brown said she already feels a tight bond with teammates she didn’t know very well until recently.
“The team, they’re a lot of fun and they work so hard,” Brown said. “It’s just good being around people who have so much love for the game but also love each other.
“On the weekends we all hang out. It’s a lot of fun being in the locker room with everyone. Coming in here, I wasn’t super close with anyone, but they’re all so welcoming. It’s been really nice to be a part of the family.”
Brown hopes to earn playing time like any other first-year player, with a clear goal of making sure the team is successful.
“Obviously I want to get on the floor, and I want to do anything I can to support my teammates,” Brown said. “Anything to contribute to winning.”
She’ll be sorely missed by Hammond and her high school teammates, who are already planning trips to come out and support her, including for the Michigan-Michigan State game in Ann Arbor.
Hammond is thrilled she gets to live out her dreams, playing for a school she rooted for growing up.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime kid,” Hammond said. “What we’ll miss the most is the energy she brings wherever she goes. She’s got an infectious personality, people I think are just naturally drawn to her. That translates to leadership, impacting culture in a certain way. It’ll be a completely different role for her at Michigan coming in as a true freshman, but I think she’ll be able to positively impact their culture the same way she was the driving force for ours.”