The decision has finally been made. Alec Brown is headed to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
The Winona High School senior verbally committed Sunday night to a full scholarship to play basketball for the Phoenix.
"It feels great," Brown said. "It's a relief."
Brown should be signing a National Letter of Intent to make the decision final at Winona High either today or Tuesday.
It was a long, tough decision for Brown. Two other schools he was seriously considering were Washington State and Loyola Chicago, and, after helping the Winhawks to a 29-2 season and a third-place finish in the MSHSL Class AAA tournament, Brown was getting calls from all over the country. The possibilities kept arising, making his decision harder.
"You know, since the state tournament he drew a lot of attention from some pretty big schools," said WSHS boys basketball coach Rocky Peterson, whose team was 39-3 the past two seasons with Brown in the lineup.
In the end, Brown chose the school that was pursuing him all along.
"I've always really liked Green Bay, but I wanted to see what other options I'd have," said Brown, who averaged 22.4 points on 64-percent shooting, 9.8 rebounds and 4.9 blocks last season. "There were other schools, but they just kind of dropped out.
"I just realized they were my best choice from the start."
Despite losing head coach Todd Kowalczyk, who took the head job at the University of Toledo in late March, Brown still felt UW-GB was his best fit - especially because assistant coach Brian Wardle took over April 15.
"That helped," Brown said. "I like Brian a lot. I think he's going to be a really good coach."
When Brown made the call to his future coach Sunday night, Wardle was very happy to say the least.
"He was pretty excited," Brown said with a laugh. "He said he's going to go outside, scream and holler.
"It's nice to know I'm going to a place where I'm definitely wanted and have been wanted there for awhile."
Brown, a 7-foot center, will be the tallest player on the Phoenix, who have three forwards who are 6-9.
"From what coach told me, he said I'm going to go and play right away, but all that depends on how I do in practice and everything," Brown said.
Brown set seven records at WSHS, including points in a game (44) and blocks in a season (141) and led the Winhawks to a school-record 27 wins in a row.
Despite being in the heart of the green and gold country, Brown did mention he may go to some Packers games, but will still be rooting for the Minnesota Vikings
"I don't have to be a Packer fan," Brown joked.
So Winona can breathe a big sigh of relief there, as well.