Like any true basketball fan, Timi Brown was tuned into March Madness on Monday night.
Brown, a Carson City product who went on to play for the University of Arizona, was naturally tuned into the Arizona Wildcats-Tennessee Volunteers. And naturally, she was pulling for an Arizona upset.
"It's going to be tough because they are playing at Tennessee. They'll have to play a perfect game, but I think they're capable of pulling it off," Brown said, only hours before Arizona fell to a 75-60 defeat in the South Regional semifinals.
Then again, the odds of an Arizona victory were no greater than that of a Northern Nevada high school basketball player going on to play in the Pac-10 in the 1980s.
Timi Brown and her sister, Jaime, both accomplished that coming out of Carson High School - Jaime graduated in 1984 and went on to play at UCLA, Timi graduated in 1986 and went on to play at Arizona. They played on Carson teams that won three straight Nevada state championships between 1983 and '85.
Timi Brown is still active in basketball, only now as head coach at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif., where she guided the Lobos to the Coast Conference Southern Division title in her first season with the program.
"I've been hanging in there," she said with a laugh. "We had a good year here. I was real proud of the kids.
"Of the 13 games we lost this year, 10 were by five points or less," she went on. "That part was frustrating. But this team had only won five games last year, so they made some good progress as far as learning how to win games."
The Lobos compiled a 16-13 overall record, won the Coast Conference Southern Division, the program's first-ever title. Monterey Peninsula also produced the conference MVP - Danielle Rainey, a freshman out of Los Angeles Crenshaw High School.
Brown has seen her share of basketball talent, starting right at home with a Carson High program that produced such players as Jennifer Gray (Kentucky), Prim Walters (Pacific), Amy Kimm (Texas Women's University career rebounds record setter), as well as the Brown sisters.
Of interest, Jaime Brown's career scoring record of 1,669 points stood until Alyson Thurman broke it this season.
Timi graduated from Carson as the school's No. 2 career scoring leader and No. 2 in career assists, not to mention her 4.03 grade point average. At Arizona, she finished as the Wildcats' all-time career scoring leader and single-game scoring record holder, and served as team captain for three seasons.
After graduating in 1991, however, she faced a major decision.
"I wish I could have played a lot longer," said Brown, who graduated from Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in exercise physiology. "Now, I'd give anything to have been able to play in the ABL or WNBA, but when I came out, you pretty much had to go overseas if you wanted to continue to play.
"I didn't want to do that. I wanted to be closer to my family and I really felt I wanted to get my career going. I think I made the right decision."
A career in coaching, that is.
She started as an assistant at Fullerton Junior College in Southern California. Next came a stint as head coach at San Pasqual High School in Escondito, Calif., where she directed that school's program to its first winning record. Her next stop was as an assistant at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif., and then she served as an assistant at Northern Colorado, where she worked on her Masters in physical education and sports administration. Now she's at Monterey Peninsula.
Recruiting is a high priority, and Brown would like to pick up talent from her own home area. However, junior college regulations prohibit her from recruiting players in Nevada - unless the player contacts her first.
"I would definitely like to pull out of that area," said Brown. "Growing up in Carson, I know what kind of players are there. I know about the tradition of basketball from when I played. and Alana (Williams) did a great job getting that started, she was a wonderful coach, and I see where (current coach Paul) Croghan has continued that."