MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — After MAHS closed this spring, the football team, including head coach Cedric Miller, was left wondering what’s next.

That’s until Miller got a phone call from the executive director at MASE.

“When that story hit about MAHS, a lot of kids were down and it was unfortunate, but these kids persevered through it,” Miller said. “I just told them, just stick with me.”

Fourteen starters transferred to MASE with Miller, including running back and cornerback Kumaro Brown, who’s no stranger to perseverance.

It’s hard to imagine football needing Brown as much as Brown needed football.

“We have had some rough times, I’ve had some rough times,” said Brown. “Going without food, sleep, going to my cousin’s house and the lights are off.”

Brown has also dealt with tragedy, losing his brother Brandon Webber, who was killed by US Marshalls in 2019, sparking unrest in Frayser.

“When my brother died, I wanted to quit, but I was like it’s a better time to keep going and to show family, friends, scouts, everybody that if I take a loss, I can keep pushing and keep going,” Brown said. “And I know he’s still with me.”

“He’s been through a lot,” said Miller. “And for him to keep a smile on his face, a positive attitude just speaks volumes about what kind of kid he is.”

Brown has become one of the most explosive running backs in the city, first at MAHS, now at MASE — averaging nearly 18 yards a carry for the 3rd ranked team in the state in Class A.

“When I met him, he was in the ninth grade and we had a long conversation and I asked him what his goals were. What did he want to be?” Miller said. “He said he wanted to go to college and get out of Memphis so he could do better for his family. And he’s making every ounce of effort to make those dreams come true, to make his mom proud and everybody in his family proud.”

He’s also making former MAHS standout and Vols defensive back Cameron Miller proud. Through the tragedy and the triumph, the two have a formed an unbreakable bond.

“Like, literally, I’m Cameron’s little brother,” said Brown. “He checks up on me, I check up on him. We text every day. We don’t miss a day without texting.”

“I feel good that I got somebody that’s looking after me like a real big brother and my brother is gone.”

And who knows, maybe Brown and Miller will reunite on Rocky Top as Tennessee is one of the many scholarship offers for the Class of 2024 4-star standout.