UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — A soon-to-be Prince George's County high school graduate wanted to make this year's Memorial Day special for his whole family.
Maurice Brown II, of Upper Marlboro, comes from a long line of veterans. To celebrate that lineage, the family hosted a celebration on Memorial Day to both acknowledge their shared past and honor their future, as the 18-year-old decided to follow in his family's footsteps and continue his education at West Point Military Academy. He'll become the third generation of servicemen in the Brown family.
The family decided the best way to show appreciation for Maurice Brown II's success was to honor and give thanks to his family members who served in the military during their time of deployment. More than 200 friends and family gathered at the Brown home in Upper Marlboro Monday to celebrate a legacy of service to the country.
“Him deciding to go to West Point not only made me proud, but his grandfather proud and his whole entire family proud,” said the grad's father, Maurice Brown I, a U.S. Marine.
“Blessed is a perfect word,” added the grad's mother, Tabitha Brown, whose own father served as an airman. "We are so grateful.”
“I served from 1971 to 1975 in the 97 Bombardment Squadron, Strategic Air Command at Bligo Airforce Base in Arkansas,” grandfather Odis Graham said. “We are so proud of what Maurice is doing, as we are with all of our grandchildren. We have seven and he’s setting a good example for them."
The future United States Army officer will report to the Academy on July 11, where he'll be a member of the football team.
“I think it’s just a powerful statement to go to a college that represents the United States and play football,” said Maurice Brown II.
Maurice Brown II played quarterback most of his childhood. In the 10th grade, he left his private school to play football at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George’s County. Then, the pandemic sidelined his junior year.
“It wasn’t really a year off," he said. “I used it to train, practice and develop and get better.”
And he did get better. Brown stepped onto the field quickly becoming a star athlete in his senior year of high school. He said at the advice of his coach, he switched positions to tight end receiver in order to get more recruiters interested, a strategy that worked.
Brown II had the ultimate choice to make on college signing day. He was accepted to over 20 universities across the U.S with scholarships and awards totaling more than $1 million.
He was able to shorten the list of universities he was interested in attending for the upcoming school year to five schools, all of which offered between $125k-$225k in scholarships.
- Brown University
- Georgetown University
- United States Military Academy at West Point
- United States Naval Academy
- Virginia Military Institute
All of the universities offered him the opportunity to play on an NCAA Division I football team.
“We see in Maurice my husband’s hard work, my father’s hard work, my mother’s hard work, the sacrifice that has come before him," Tabitha Brown said of her son. "We’re so grateful.”
Her father served from 1971 to 1975 in the 97 Bombardment Squadron, Strategic Air Command at Bligo Airforce Base in Arkansas.
“We are so proud of what Maurice is doing, as we are with all of our grandchildren," grandfather Odis Graham said. "We have seven and he’s setting a good example for them."
Despite the difficulties the pandemic posed, Brown II had an exceptional senior year academically by maintaining a 4.125 GPA and athletically with the Charles Herbert Flowers Jaguars. He received numerous awards as a scholar and a member of the Heart Church Ministries, as well as traveling to Germany and India through the Children's International Summer Villages. He won two science fair awards in Microbiology and Environmental Science.
“I’m blessed to be his father,” the elder Maurice Brown said, as his eyes welled up with tears. “It’s our hope and prayer that he continues to grow and become the young man we raised him to be. His future is bright."