This article was first posted in the 2018 issue of Hamptonia.
When Shawn Brown realized his son Shandon needed something different in his high school experience to give him the best chance of playing collegiate basketball at a high-level academic institution, he knew exactly the right place. The realization brought him back to his own experience as a post-graduate at New Hampton School, where teachers, coaches and the community supported him into becoming the person he is today. “At the time, I didn’t understand how all of the pieces came together to allow me to excel academically and athletically, but now as a parent I truly see boarding school, and my New Hampton experience, as an incredible opportunity that I was lucky to have.”
Standing at 5 feet 9 inches and 160 pounds, Shandon entered his junior year at New Hampton School with high expectations for himself. To achieve his goals, Brown knew he needed to put in countless hours of practice and study, while also leading as a positive role model within the community. Taking advantage of every day on campus, it was not unusual for him to be in the gym by 6:00 am, getting in extra shots with his coaches, giving tours during his free block to prospective students, and leading school assemblies and talent shows with his classmates. For Shandon and his dad, it wasn’t about just being the best basketball player — it was about being the best student, person and community member. “Basketball is really important, but there was so much more than that for me at New Hampton,” remarks Shandon.
In two short years on campus, Brown fulfilled the goals he set out for himself when he started at New Hampton School. Appointed captain of the Men’s Varsity A Basketball Team, Coach Nick Whitmore comments, “Shandon was a consummate teammate, leading through his actions and his words. He graduated from New Hampton with two New Hampton Invitational Championships, and he excelled in the classroom.” In the New Hampton School Invitational, Brown was named the Andrew Sloan Most Valuable Player. In March, he was named New Hampton School athlete of the month for his “exceptional leadership, passion and adept skill in leading the youngest team in NEPSAC AAA to the championship game.”
Brown didn’t limit his achievement and contributions to the court. In the community, he was always a presence, whether he was helping new students acclimate to life on campus or raising awareness for his peers on what it means to be a Husky. Director of Student Life Scott LeBrun said of Shandon’s leadership, “Shandon was far more than simply a good athlete; he was the kind of community member that others looked to. Shandon knew what he wanted from his New Hampton experience and he didn’t waiver in his commitment to making his dreams a reality. Humble, hardworking and kind are attributes that defined Shandon’s character at New Hampton; even with all of his success, he never lost sight of the ways he could help others on campus. He was a truly selfless proctor, captain, and friend to many.”
For Shandon, all of his hard work during his time at New Hampton paid off when he was accepted with a full scholarship to play basketball at The George Washington University. “My time at New Hampton prepared me for both basketball and the college lifestyle of living on campus and away from home. I will truly miss it; all the teachers who I’ve had the chance to build relationships with, the student body, and all of the fun that comes with being a Husky. Without New Hampton, I honestly don’t think any of this would be possible.”