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CdM's Brown kills addiction

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Senior outside hitter, who overcame his need for marijuana, leads Sea Kings to CIF title match.

May 18, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach | Daily…)

Earlier this week, before Parker Brown's jump serve, a couple of rowdy fans in the visiting bleachers yelled at the most fit player on the court.

"No. 1 is on steroids!" the fans said together.

There was a time last year when Brown said he was on drugs all the time.

Without needing to leave his own two feet to smash a shot, the outside hitter was high on the volleyball court.

Before matches, Brown said he smoked marijuana. After matches, he said he smoked out again.

The natural high of winning a lot during a historic season with the Corona del Mar High boys' team was not enough for Brown. Helping the Sea Kings claim their first national title was not Brown's top priority as a junior.

The number one goal for No. 1 was to smoke weed, up to a dozen times daily. Everyone seemed to know of Brown's addiction, his family, his friends, his classmates, his teammates and his coaches.

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Yet, no one seemed to know how to stop Brown.

"They knew I needed help and they would tell me," Brown said. "But I just didn't listen."

Why would Brown, a 17-year-old at the time, listen to his teammates, his coaches or his parents? He was one of the team's star players. He ran the gym, even his household.

He said his house was the go-to place for students at CdM to get high.

The only thing Brown thought about quitting was volleyball. He was over the sport, which he began playing at 7.

"I just kind of wanted to go smoke pot instead," said Brown, adding that without volleyball, he "had more time to get high."

Marijuana was Brown's escape from life. The drug made him happy.

Playing stoned never affected him when he competed, or so he believed. He did not know any better.

"Since my sophomore year, I was high for every big game, every CIF [Southern Section playoff match]," said Brown, who went on to earn first-team All-Orange County and All-Pacific Coast League honors that season. "I thought I was playing fine. I didn't really realize that I never really played sober and clean. I always had something in my system. I never really knew what playing sober would be like."

Brown is playing through a season without drugs as a senior.

He and his team are back in a familiar place they were in last season. The second-seeded Sea Kings are playing for a second straight CIF Southern Section Division 2 title on Saturday, when they face top-seeded Oak Park at Cypress College at 4:30 p.m.

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