— -- A 4-year-old basketball phenom from North Carolina has already drawn the attention of an NBA legend and has big plans to follow in the footsteps of his favorite player, the Oklahoma Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
“He can emulate his free throw regime exactly,” Josiah Brown’s father, Demetrius Brown, told ABC News of his son's ability to copy Durant's famous free throw prep. “He has been doing that since he was one.”
Josiah, whom his dad describes as average height and weight for a 4-year-old but with an athletic build, is already playing with kids as old as 9 at his local YMCA in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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At the Muggsy Bogues Fundamentals Basketball Camp in Charlotte earlier this month, Josiah received an outstanding player award from NBA legend Bogues himself and won the free-throw shooting competition for 6 to nine 9 olds.
Brown says his son was born with basketball in his genes. Josiah watched his dad play in recreational leagues from birth on and his mom, Joy, played college basketball at University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
“When he started walking, he just picked up the ball and was always around it,” Brown told ABC News. “Now when he wakes up, the first thing he does is go to the living room and get the basketball.”
Brown says Josiah’s favorite thing is to do drills with his dad, who will teach him the skills Josiah sees from watching players like Durant on TV or seeing them in person at NBA games in Charlotte.
“For me, it’s an everyday vacation because I get to work with him and I’m a fan of basketball and a fan of passion and heart and he has that,” Brown said. “It brings me to tears just watching it.”
When Josiah steps on the court, Brown says “all cell phones” come out.
“People always recognize him,” he said. “It really is amazing, in all honesty.”
Brown says he hopes the focus on his son now will lead to basketball opportunities for Josiah in the future, whatever they may be.
“Right now we are riding the wave,” Brown said. “We are open to anything.”