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Gilbert Brown retires from professional basketball

The Pitt alum accepted a job as a high school coach in Connecticut

LTi Giessen 46ers v s. Oliver Baskets - Beko BBL Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

Former Pitt guard Gilbert Brown has been playing basketball professionally overseas for the majority of the past decade, but on Wednesday, he announced that he would be retiring and accepting a coaching position at South Kent School in Connecticut.

“Basketball has given me so many experiences and life lessons that I will carry with me forever,” Brown wrote in a message posted on Instagram. “I hope and pray that those lessons lead me to be the coach, mentor, role model and positive figure that [South Kent head coach Raphael Chillious was] in my life."

“As I begin this next chapter as the assistant coach at South Kent this year, I know I will face many tough challenges," Brown continued. "Nonetheless, I’m excited to start this new journey and believe that God presented this opportunity to me for a reason. I look forward to coming back to the hillside this year to help lead this program and the young men that come through it to greater things.”

Brown most recently appeared in professional competition as a member of Team Hines in The Basketball Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, earlier this month. Before that, he spent the majority of the past nine years playing for teams in the Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, Turkey and Venezuela. Brown also had stints in the G League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and the Canton Charge.

The former Panther averaged at least 10 points per game in each of his seasons overseas between 2011 and 2017. Arguably, the best year of Brown’s career came in the 2012-13 season, which he split between Puerto Rico and Turkey. That year, he averaged 17.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game over 41 total contests with Caciques de Humacao and Bandirma Kirmizi.

However, over the last two seasons, Brown saw his role diminish significantly. Coming off the bench for Eisbaren Bremerhaven in Germany and Hapoel Eilat in Israel, he saw his scoring average dip below 5.0 points per game for the first time in his career. He also made just two starts in two years and saw his minutes cut.

Back in Connecticut, Brown will rejoin a program that he left in 2006 to play for Jamie Dixon at Pitt. At the time of his graduation, Brown was South Kent’s all-time leading scorer, as he came up with 1,157 points in a span of three years. He also captained the team as a senior and averaged 24.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists that year, distinguishing himself as a consensus top-100 recruit.

At South Kent, Brown will work under his former coach, Raphael Chillious. Chillious previously coached South Kent from 2003 to 2008 and was rehired by the school in May after working as an assistant coach under Joe Dooley at East Carolina from 2018 to 2020. During Chillious’ first stint with South Kent, he led the team to national prominence, as the Cardinals were ranked among the top teams in the country in every year of his tenure.