Band of Brothers The Badger Herald




Growing up in a family with four older brothers, Wisconsin goalie Michael Flowers knows what it means to be tough. Whether on the basketball court, the football field, or just around the house, Michael Flowers had to fight his older brothers if he wanted anything in life. “It was very confusing and difficult at times because I was always the smallest and weakest in the world,” said Flowers. “I would never get the ball, but it made me hungry and determined to get the ball in any way I could.” And now that Flowers is blossoming for the No.3 Badgers – averaging 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and a team-record 3.0 assists per game – it has become apparent that the life of getting beaten up while the younger brother is bearing fruit. “He always had to be the little brother who had to fight for leftovers at home,” UW assistant coach Greg Gard said. “Whether it was basketball, football or whatever sport they played, the basis of Mike’s game is his competitiveness, and a lot of that can be attributed to the environment he grew up in.” But it wasn’t just Michael Flowers who benefited from having to fight with his older brothers – Jonte Flowers too. “Mike and I always had to face our older brothers, and they didn’t want to let us go,” said Jonte Flowers, who currently plays for Winona State and has 13.6 points per game for the undefeated Warriors. “It was very competitive, but it definitely improved us.” Three years after transferring from Wisconsin as a football player, Jonte Flowers knew he had made the right decision to leave his home in Madison for the little Division II school in Minnesota as he was named player of the game. in Winona State 73-61. defeat Virginia Union in the NCAA Division II National Championship game. The five brothers grew up in the town of Madison and played basketball at Lycée La Follette. Marques Flowers (26) first played for the Lancers and JJ (24), Jason (23), Jonte (21) and Michael (20) quickly followed. And it was in high school in the east that the brothers’ rivalry intensified. “We took to heart the reputation that we were good ball players and that we would compete against each other just to uphold the reputation of our family,” said Marques Flowers. “If either of us did well, we all wanted to do well just to call. Basically, you didn’t want to be the only sucker brother. With three of the Flowers brothers – Jason senior, Jonte junior and second-year Michael – on the La Follette team in 2002, the Lancers won the WIAA Division I State Championship. Jason Flowers is still at La Follette coaching freshman boys’ basketball, and with Michael, JJ and Marques currently attending UW-Madison, the Flowers family still stays close. Indeed, JJ, a major in social work, and Marques, a former basketball player at Beloit College who is now an educational advisor working on his master’s degree, are part of an intramural team that plays SERF every week. The two have performed together intramural for the past two years and made their names known on campus as they did at La Follette. “A bunch of my friends were calling me to get Marques and JJ’s phone numbers so they could play on their team for the intramural,” said Michael Flowers. “So I was kinda their agent for a little while because they’re so good.” As the self-proclaimed agent of his older brothers, Michael Flowers goes to the SERF to watch Marques and JJ play whenever he gets the chance. Although they are all on the same side, the brothers still compete with each other, even if they don’t play. “I love watching them play as much as they love watching me play,” said Michael Flowers. “I go in there, I talk about smack a lot, and they give it back to me. They always give me bullshit, but that’s all hard love.” In addition to going to intramural games, the three Flowers brothers on campus go online and go out to eat, go to the library, and even have classes together. Going to school with his two older brothers is an experience Michael Flowers has never had in La Follette, and it is an experience he enjoys. “Someone once told me that he was at the library and thought I was there, so they asked for my autograph, but it turned out to be one of my brothers, ”said Michael Flowers. “Then I got a call that night and my brothers were like, ‘Dude, I can’t believe one of your fanatics came to me. I don’t even know why they want your autograph, you’re ugly anyway. I can’t believe they mistook me for you, I look a lot better than you. ‘”” Stories like that make it really fun to go to the same school as [my brothers]. “While basketball is certainly part of the Flowers family, another common trait between the brothers is defense. Jonte and Michael Flowers currently lead their teams in interceptions per game, at 3.1 and 1.92 respectively. Beloit College, Marques Flowers has been twice named Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year. “What we’re all proud of is being able to stop people,” Marques Flowers said. to play against each other because you never wanted to be the guy who got tagged. Being able to sit back and watch their younger brother Michael start for one of the best teams in the country is something the older Flowers brothers are proud of because they know they have all contributed to his development as basketball player. However, they know Michael more than he did his part too. “Mike spent his hours at the gym. It’s nice to see this hard work pay off and to see him appreciated by others, “said JJ Flowers.” We always appreciated his hard work growing up, but I think more and more people are starting to recognize him outside the family. ”



Leave A Reply