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Sports

Justin Brownlee’s mom proud of her son

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Justin Brownlee�s mom proud of her son
Geneva Brownlee and Justin Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Gilas naturalized player and Barangay Ginebra resident import Justin Brownlee’s mother Geneva couldn’t be more proud of her son. “Since he was a boy, all Justin wanted to do was play basketball,” she said. “It was 24/7 dribbling and shooting hoops. I knew he was going to be a star. Actually, all my kids went to college on basketball scholarships.”

Brownlee has a twin Justina, two other sisters Kaleena and Stephanie and a brother Stanley Jr. His mother works at UPS in Tifton, Georgia where he was born. Brownlee has four children, including 11-year-old Justin Jr. who’s 5-4 and serious about someday playing in the NBA.

Brownlee’s mother arrived here three weeks ago for her second visit to Manila since 2019 and leaves Saturday. “I was going to stay for two weeks then extended it to three but I gotta go back to work,” she said.

Geneva, 57, said she usually doesn’t watch Brownlee play in the stadium because she gets too nervous. She would rather wait for the result after the contest and catch the replay on TV. But last Sunday, Geneva was at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to cheer for Ginebra against Rain or Shine in a PBA Governors Cup game.

“Whenever Justin missed, some fans looked at me for my reaction,” she chuckled. “Luckily, he didn’t miss too many.” She arrived after Ginebra beat Bay Area in Game 7 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals before 54,589 fans at the Philippine Arena but Justin, Jr. was in the audience. “I think my dad could’ve done better,” he joked. Brownlee smiled when he heard about his son’s critique. He couldn’t have done much more than collecting 34 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists in Ginebra’s 114-99 win.

Geneva said it’s an honor for her son to play for the Philippines. “I’m happy for Justin,” she said. “He’s doing what he loves to do and we’re so proud of him. He’s always followed his dream like when he wanted to play in the Big East and went to play for St. John’s.” Justin Jr. flew in last December and is enjoying his stay with the family. For Christmas, he got a pair of Klay Thompson basketball shoes from his father. While Brownlee practiced with the Gilas pool at the Meralco gym last Monday, Justin, Jr. was busy rounding the courtside hoop stations, shooting the ball like his father used to when he was his age.

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