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Sunday, October 01, 2023

Satire: Wisconsin's Vitto Brown focused more on singing than scoring

“My head’s in the game, but my heart’s in the song” sings fictional basketball phenom Troy Bolton. For him, those lyrics represent a lovesick boy who is caught in conflict with romantic feelings and focusing on basketball.

For senior Badger forward Vitto Brown, those lyrics are a curse that the man has had to live with every day. That is, until NBC came calling.

While UW stumbled to end the regular season and fell in the Big Ten title game, teammates of Brown have grown worrisome over their smooth-singing, soft-shooting senior.

It started when Brown was a freshman, before the Red-White scrimmage. The singer took the court to introduce his game to the Badger faithful but instead found his heart gravitating toward the singing spotlight.

“At the time, I was like, ‘It’s my first game with the squad, let’s go,’” Brown said. “Then I sang the anthem, heard the cheers from the crowd, and I said to myself, ‘This is the peak of my life. Forget basketball.’”

Brown rekindled that singing fire when he took the stage before the Final Four in 2015.

“I was like, ‘Uh, Vitto, I don’t know if you should sing before the game,’” fellow senior forward Nigel Hayes said. “And we snuck by in that game but lost to Duke. He was so caught up in the Final Four performance going into the championship … makes you wonder, was it really the refs’ fault for the whole Justise Winslow thing or Vitto’s?”

And Dec. 23, Brown found himself yet again on the Kohl Center stage. Wisconsin was 10-2 before that game, closed the season just 11-6 afterward.

“People think Vitto’s little step-in on his jumpers is just a habit, but it’s not,” freshman guard D’Mitrik Trice said. “He’s tapping his feet to whatever song is in his head. He’s got some big audition coming up after the tournament, and basketball cuts into his practice time, so he sneaks in practice time during basketball games.”

An early exit from the NCAA Tournament doesn’t worry Brown, who has an audition on NBC’s "The Voice" set up as soon as the season ends.

“Man, if you had to watch Ethan Happ take 100 jump shots in practice, you’d look for a source of happiness too,” Brown said. “Anything to make you think the world will be okay again.”

Check out the Daily Cardinal's full NCAA Tournament Preview package here.

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