“Heroes will be remembered, but legends never die.”

Coach Eric Schermerhorn and Jake Stewart remember the passing of the legendary Coach Kevin Brown

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden once said, that a good coach can change a game, but a great coach can change a life. That famous quote perfectly describes the qualities that the late great Washington Panthers boys basketball Coach Kevin Brown possessed.

Even the average basketball fan could quickly realize the greatness of Coach Brown with just a glance at a sheet of paper. During Coach Brown’s 14-year tenure at Washington Community High School, he won a total of 323 games, while losing only 91. How he is remembered by many of his former players and coaches you won’t be able to find in a scorebook, but rather inside their hearts.

One of the people he impacted was the current head coach of the Panthers boys’ basketball team, and long-time assistant Eric Schermerhorn.

“My greatest moment in basketball was being Coach Brown’s assistant, and the Tournament of Champions allows me to still be his assistant.”

-Coach Eric Schermerhorn

Another individual that Coach Brown touched during his life was now Senior Point Guard for the Panthers, Jake Stewart. “Coach Brown was best friends with my dad growing up, and I would go to all of the games. I always dreamed of being able to suit up and play for him one day.”

Unfortunately, that dream fell a year shy of coming true, as Coach Brown passed away the summer before Jake began his freshmen year of high school.

“Coach (Brown) always told me that this kid was going to be our point guard one day, just wait and see,” Coach Schermerhorn said in regards to Jake one day playing for the Panthers.

 “When Kevin Brown was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, he wanted to be a cancer survivor and he wanted to help others in their battle against this terrible disease. Unfortunately, after a courageous 10-month battle, Kevin passed on June 11, 2019. His wife, Jodi, family, and friends are committed to keeping his legacy alive by carrying on the mission of KBSTRONG – Fighting the Fight…raise awareness of Glioblastoma.”

The national basketball tournament takes place in Washington, Illinois every year during the week of Thanksgiving.

In honor of Kevin, it has been renamed the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions. The tournament partners with the KBSTRONG Foundation to raise awareness and help with funding research for Glioblastoma.

If you are interested in learning more, or purchasing tickets click here.