DAWSON -- Michael Chadwick didn't see the playoffs, never saw the way Terrell County's Alre'k Brown soared to the occasion; never watched Brown take over a game and simply dominate inside when everything was on the line.
But he saw enough.
That's why Chadwick was delighted to have Brown coming to Chattahoochee Valley Community College, where he can already see the Greenwave's star forward soaring to new heights.
"I saw him in the regular season. He's great defensively, and he's an all around player,'' said Chadwick, who has now signed two Southwest Georgia players this spring to join his men's basketball team after inking Monroe's Brandon Blakely last month. "I was surprised at his versatility. I saw him handling the ball up top and making decisions with the ball like a guard.''
Chattahoochee could just be a stopover for Brown, a 6-foot-6 forward who has the potential to play in Division I.
"I think he will go to the next level,'' said Chadwick, who added he expects Brown to start and have an immediate impact next season. "He can make the transition to small forward. He can play the 3 or 4 for us. He can do so many things. He's got length and he's very, very athletic. And he is a great kid who was raised right by his family.''
Brown signed a letter-of-intent Wednesday afternoon with CVCC as his mother, Zelda, and father, Albert, looked on at Terrell County High, where their son will sorely be missed.
"You don't replace a player like that,'' said Terrell County coach John Davis, whose Greenwave team made it to the Class A Final Four before losing a heartbreaker in overtime to Whitefield Academy. In the final two playoff games, Brown blocked 17 shots, including nine in the state semifinal game before fouling out in OT.
"He was relentless,'' Davis said. "He was determined to take us as far as we could go. He was great for the team, for Terrell County, for the community ... We are all going to miss him.''
Brown averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds a game and also averaged 5.5 blocked shots on the season, but he brought so much more to the court -- a passion and desire to win and the kind of character that builds champions.
When his aunt, Elmonica Orr, lost her battle with breast cancer during the latter part of the season, Brown went to his teammates and asked them to wear pink socks that weekend as a tribute to her. They did and pulled off a huge upset against Class AAA state power Westover, 65-60. Brown was inspirational. He scored 20 points, including eight in the final 95 seconds to lead the comeback.
He then wore pink socks the rest of the season, all the way to the Final Four.
Brown had offers from as far away as New Mexico, but wanted to stay close to home, and he is so close to his family they made the final vote to help him decide where to play next year.
"I felt right at home when I visited CVCC,'' Brown said. "And (the coaches) convinced my mom and dad, and won their heart. They told them if I went to school there that they would treat me right and that I wouldn't get into any trouble.''
Another factor in Brown's decision was Blakely, who Brown is good friends with.
"We're like brothers,'' Brown said. "It's going to be fun to play on the same team. I'm looking forward to playing there next season, and I do want to go on from there. I hope I can get the experience I need to go to the next level.''