Meet Our Rookies: Kalani Brown

First round draft pick Kalani Brown is a 6’6 center out of Baylor University. As a Big-12 conference player, she averaged 15 points, 7.6 rebounds, and scored 2,127 overall points in her collegiate career. Brown was named to the First Team All Big-12 three times, was the Big-12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Year in 2018, and was on the Big-12 All-Freshman Team in 2017. Brown closed her collegiate career with her first trip to the Final Four, winning the NCAA title. She finished the championship game with 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. Brown learned her game-time aggressiveness on the court from Coach Kim Mulkey at Baylor. “She wanted to blend in, instead of really using her size to be dominant,” said Mulkey. Brown admitted that she did not want to step on anyone’s toes at first. “Coach Mulkey definitely put that dog in me, that aggressiveness,” she said.

Following her impressive career at Baylor, Brown was ecstatic to continue her basketball career as part of the WNBA and the Sparks. Playing professionally can be different than playing in college, as Brown is learning. “I’m used to a lot of structure. But as a pro, you are on your own, nobody is telling you to do anything,” Brown said. “It’s on you to take care of your body, eat well and work out.”

Brown’s journey to the WNBA started in Slidell, Louisiana. She was born on March 21, 1997. Not the tallest in her family, Brown is the daughter of DeJuna who is 6’3, and P.J. Brown who stands at 6’11. Both parents played basketball at Louisiana Tech University and her father is a retired NBA player who won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. She also has a brother, Javani, and two sisters named Briana and Whitney.

Brown’s basketball dreams started at a young age, where she attended Baylor basketball camps. With her complementary height and athleticism, Brown also tried other extra-curricular activities growing up including volleyball, dance and even played the piano. Between grades eight and nine Brown grew from 5’11 to 6’4. It was a tough adjustment at first, but her mother gave her some perspective. “Tall is beautiful and you’re beautiful,” Brown’s mother said. “Don’t try to hide and be ‘normal.’” Her height was initially what drew Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey to her, after seeing her in a Baylor Basketball camp as a sixth grader.

As an adult, Brown has an outgoing personality and calls herself a diva. “I am tall, and it’s not going anywhere. So let me make the best of it,” she said. Her outgoing and positive attitude fits well with her new Los Angeles lifestyle. “Los Angeles has everything, literally everything,” Brown says. “They have different types of food and so much variety, I don’t know what to do with myself.” Brown is adjusting to the LA lifestyle with the help of her Teacup Maltipoo dog named Louie.