Q&A with Leigha Brown

Honors & Awards

  • Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year (2020)
  • All-Big Ten (Honorable Mention, 2020)
  • Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (March 2, 2020; Dec. 23, 2019; Feb. 11, 2019)
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Jan. 7)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2020)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2018)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2019, 2020)
  • No. 21 Forward in the Nation (ESPN, 2017)
  • IBCA Supreme 15 Underclass All-State (2017)
  • Indiana Class 4A All-State (2nd Team, 2016)
  • Indiana Class 4A All-State (HM, 2015)
  • IBCA State Player of the Week (Nov. 6, 2017)

Sophomore (2019-20)
Leigha Brown (pronounced LEE-uh) earned the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Award by averaging 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a sophomore. The 6-1 wing from Auburn, Ind., was Nebraska’s most consistent offensive threat in 2019-20. She produced double figures 23 times, including eight 20-point games.

Brown erupted for a season-high 25 points and tied a career high with four threes in a win over Manhattan (Dec. 22). She pitched in five rebounds and four assists against the Jaspers. She had 24 points and five rebounds in a 90-85 OT win at Missouri (Nov. 10). She scored 18 after halftime, including four in OT to help NU seal their first road win over an SEC school since the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Brown scored 22 points in each of NU’s final three games of the year (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan).

She led NU with 20 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to help rally the Huskers from a 10-point deficit to a road win at Wisconsin (Jan. 25). She added 20 points at Iowa (Feb. 6), and 20 more in a win over Penn State (Feb. 13).

Brown had 19 at No. 20 Maryland (Jan. 16). She had 16 points and a career-high-tying five assists in a win over Morgan State (Nov. 14). She had 16 more in a win over Southern (Nov. 20) before getting 16 in a win over USC (Nov. 29). Brown had 15 points in wins over Wisconsin (Jan. 9) and ORU (Dec. 14), and 15 more at Minnesota (Jan. 30). 

Freshman (2018-19)
Brown worked her way into Nebraska’s starting lineup for the final six games of her freshman season.

An explosive scorer, Brown put up Nebraska’s top offensive effort of the season with 30 points in just 25 minutes off the bench in a win over Purdue (Feb. 10) to earn a spot on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll. Brown started Nebraska’s next six games, with the first starts coming in place of an ill Taylor Kissinger against No. 7 Maryland (Feb. 14) and No. 24 Michigan State (Feb. 17). 

For the season, Brown averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists, including 10.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in regular-season Big Ten play. She notched eight double-figure scoring efforts against Big Ten foes among her 11 double-digit performances on the season.

In Brown’s 30-point performance against Purdue, she scored 22 in the second half. She set career highs with four threes and 10 free throws made against the Boilermakers while tying a career high with two steals. She tied a career best by hitting four more threes in a win over No. 24 Michigan State on her way to 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. 

Brown added 20 points while matching a career best with two steals at No. 19 Iowa (Jan. 3). She was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Jan. 7), for her performance against Iowa and a 19-point effort to go along with four rebounds, three assists and a steal in a Big Ten road win at Ohio State (Dec. 31). 

Brown opened Big Ten play with 11 points and five rebounds in a win over Michigan (Dec. 28). She had 18 points and a career-high six rebounds against Rutgers (Jan. 13), before adding 10 points in a win at Illinois (Jan. 17).

Through her first six Big Ten games, Brown averaged 13.7 points and 3.5 rebounds in just 20.2 minutes per game. She had 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). She added 17 points and career highs of five assists and two steals in a win over Denver (Dec. 15). She scored 13 points in a win over Radford (Nov. 25).
    
Before Nebraska
Brown averaged 28.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior at DeKalb High School in 2017-18. It followed her junior season when she averaged 22.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 blocks for Coach Brett Eltzroth in 2016-17 on her way to IBCA Supreme 15 Underclass All-State honors. She earned second-team Class 4A all-state honors after averaging 17.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a sophomore in 2015-16. She was honorable-mention all-state as a freshman in 2014-15.

Brown closed her high school career with 1,798 points, 810 rebounds, 325 assists, 161 steals and 86 blocked shots. In the first game of her senior season, Brown notched a triple-double with 34 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists. Her second game as a senior, she erupted for a career-high 53 points to go along with 24 rebounds in a win over Lakeland High School on Nov. 3. 

Her 53-point performance ranked second in DeKalb history, just four points shy of the school record held by MaChelle Joseph, who was Purdue’s all-time leading scorer, the 1992 Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-team All-American.

Brown played her club basketball for Always 100 coached by Julius Smith.

Personal
The daughter of Jenese Brown and Nate Brown, Leigha was born July 14, 2000 in Auburn, Ind. She has a younger sister, Jayla. Leigha is a management major and earned academic All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore in 2020. She also claimed a spot on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall of 2018. She was a two-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2019, 2020).

She chose Nebraska over Xavier, Belmont, Western Michigan, Wright State, Indiana State, Youngstown State, American and IUPUI.

Leigha Brown's Career Bests
Points - 30 vs. Purdue, Feb. 10, 2019 
Rebounds - 7 vs. Alabama A&M, Nov. 6, 2019 
Assists - 6 vs. Michigan, March 5, 2020 
Steals - 2 Five times, most recent vs. Duke, Dec. 4, 2019
Blocks - 2 vs. Indiana, Feb. 9, 2020 
FGM - 9 vs. Michigan, March 5, 2020; vs. Manhattan, Dec. 22, 2019 
FGA - 17 vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 25, 2020 
3FGM - 4 vs. Four times, most recent, vs. Illinois, Feb. 22, 2020 
3FGA - 7 vs. Illinois, Feb. 22, 2020; vs. Manhattan, Dec. 22, 2019
FTM - 10 vs. Purdue, Feb. 10, 2019
FTA - 12 vs. Purdue, Feb. 10, 2019; at Ohio State, Dec. 31, 2018

Brown's Career Statistics

Year

G-GS

FG-FGA

Pct.

3FG-3FGA

Pct.

FT-FTA

Pct.

TRB-Avg.

PF-D

A

TO

Blk

ST

Pts-Avg.

2018-19

30-6

94-223

.422

32-89

.360

69-94

.734

79-2.6

48-1

45

30

3

23

289-9.6

2019-20 30-0 143-328 .436 31-91 .341 116-152 .763 102-3.4 56-0 62 50 3 16 433-14.4

Career

60-6

237-551

.430

63-180

.350

185-246

.752

181-3.0

104-1

107

80

39

722-12.0