The B.F.G. of EHS spreads positivity to students


Photo by Maeve Yanes.

Maeve Yanes, Features Editor

This previously ran in our December 2022 print issue.

The basketball legend, Jerald Brown, is now destined to be a legend for the students of Emmaus. 

Before entering the world of Emmaus High School, hall monitor Jerald Brown was an accomplished basketball player, earning the title of Mr. Basketball, as the number one player in Texas and fifteenth in the nation coming out of high school in 1996. 

Even though Brown has found a new passion of helping students, he has not forgotten his love of basketball as it was a major part of his childhood. 

“Coming from Texas, sports [are] very big and prominent in Texas. So, I fell in love with basketball at an early age,” Brown said. 

It was something he was always doing. A basketball never left his hand. Brown is pretty sure there had to have been one in his crib when he was a baby because of how much he loves the sport. 

Basketball unlocked his inner creativity due to the freedom and creative aspects the sport has to offer. Brown also fell in love with playing with a team and camaraderie that came with playing basketball. 

“Plus, basketball is one of those sports where it’s hot outside, you got AC. it’s cold outside, you [have a] heated gym,” Brown said. 

Starting his basketball career in eighth grade, Brown played AAU Basketball for his middle school’s team. He was also a part of travel teams and played summer basketball when he wasn’t playing for his school, moving up the ranks as he got into high school. 

The titles and rankings that he earned at the end of his high school career allowed Brown to be awarded with the opportunity to be able to play on the USA Junior Olympic Team. As well as joining the Magnet High School team for the All-American game. 

The McDonald’s All-American Game is an all-star game for skilled and accomplished high school students from America and Canada. 

His time playing in the All-American Game was a once in a lifetime experience for Brown. 

“…I played with Kobe Bryant, Mike Bibby, Steven Stephen,” Brown said. 

Eighteen out of twenty-two of the players on that high school team went on to play in the NBA. Sadly, Brown went undrafted, but his basketball career did not end there. 

Brown then went to play college ball at Texas A&M, where he graduated in 2000. 

Right after graduating, Brown’s agent got him a job trial on the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs, led by former 76ers great Darryl Dawkins. 

The team was located in Whitehall Township in the Lehigh Valley. His time playing on the team is what brought him to Pennsylvania where he met his wife. 

“And as I ended up [here], this area became my area,” Brown said. 

Years after he stopped playing on the ValleyDawgs, Brown and his wife moved back and forth from Pennsylvania to Texas, trying to make Texas work. 

Luckily for the students at Emmaus, Brown decided to make Pennsylvania his home and stay here, where he owns his own lawn care business. 

After a dreadful winter of trying out snow-removal, Brown decided he needed a job for the off-season of landscaping. This is how he came to work at Emmaus High School. 

Brown didn’t have a degree in teaching, but he knew he could still serve the students of Emmaus in a positive manner. 

“I want to serve,” Brown said. “I want to work here in some capacity, on some level. I want to [offer] my gifts to you in school.” 

Making a grand entrance at freshman orientation in front of the principals, he was able to converse with them about working here at EHS. 

“How can I sign up? How can I get on? I just want to connect. How can I help,” Brown said. 

Brown knew this was the place he wanted to work. He wanted the chance to work with young adults and be a beacon of light for them during their school days. 

The administrators pointed him in the direction of the school’s website. He applied, and that is how he landed his spot in the halls of Emmaus. 

Leaving the court behind, Brown has committed to becoming the positive energy and good influence that the students of Emmaus High School needed. Brown enjoys every day here at Emmaus. 

He can be spotted in the hallways between classes talking to students and exchanging stories or socializing in “The Nest,” the upper balcony of the cafeteria, with smaller groups of students and creating bonds with those he talks to. 

“I’m upstairs and [it] allows me to peer out and see the whole cafeteria, and scan, and see every body and make eye contact from time to time with those who are sitting on the lower level in the lower atrium,” Brown said, “…but it also allows me to spend time with a smaller group in the nest and get to know them, you know and break bread with them.” 

Reflecting on the highlight of his days at Emmaus, Brown found it hard to pin one answer down. 

“It’s so hard to pinpoint because I love [what] I do. I truly, truly, truly do enjoy every aspect of what I do,” Brown said. “I’m able to touch the whole body in the sense you don’t see everybody in every walk of life, you know. So, that’s one of the greatest highlights of my position [is] that there’s no limit to the building.” 

In his role, he is able to organically shape connections with the students he passes by on a daily basis. He converses with students from all areas of the community: student athletes, honors students, theater kids, choir students, activists, artists, and so many more different walks of life. 

From commander of the court to commander of the hallways, Brown has the same passion for everything he does in both chapters of his life. 

Whether he is showing off his skills playing basketball or swapping stories with students at lunch, Brown values every moment he has, no matter where he is. 

Finally, to answer the question that the students of Emmaus have been dying to know, Jerald Brown stands at a whopping 6’8” earning himself the title, “The B.F.G. of Emmaus High School.”