Life abroad with Solomon and Danielle Brown
Solomon ’21 and Danielle Hensley Brown ’18 recently returned to the United States after six months living in Europe. Follow along to find out what they were doing in Poland.
Chance to play pro football
Solomon: I was helping a friend who had graduated from CSU in 2022 and was working on continuing his football career. I still had several football contacts, agents, and coaches, from my draft year in 2019. My friend and I began training together, and I felt I still could physically play. Almost every weekend from April to July 2022 we were at different camps and tryouts for Canadian Football League and XFL (American football minor league) teams. It was recommended that I send my tape and information to EuroPlayers which is the European League of Football’s scout website. Two teams reached out, the Wroclaw Panthers being the first. The Panthers signed me in December 2022. I was the first import player signed the day after they signed the head coach.
Wroclaw Panthers 2023 season
Danielle: Solomon had a terrific season. He was elected to the leadership council by the team and was captain of several games. He finished the season 16th in the league for tackles, had 5.5 sacks, 11 TFLs, 1 interception, 8 PBUs, 2 blocks,1 fumble recovery, and averaged 9.4 tackles/game in eight games. The team finished 8-4 and made it to the first round of playoffs. There are rule differences for kickoff and kickoff return in the European League of Football. Besides that, the main difference is the cultural blend. While everyone on the team spoke English, it was most of the team’s second language. There were eight different nationalities represented on the Panthers between coaches and players.
Traveling in Europe
Danielle: We were fortunate to visit 10 countries during our time in Europe from mid-April to Sept. 30. We toured Wroclaw, Poland, (and Krakow including a trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau); several places in Germany including Berlin; Vienna, Austria; Split, Croatia; Rome, Italy; Malta; Bratislava, Slovakia; islands of Greece; Budapest, Hungary; and Prague, Czech Republic.
Our favorite places were Rome, Italy, and Rhodes/Kalymnos Greece. I studied abroad in Rome while in college. It has always been my favorite place for its beauty and history. It was so cool to go back and experience it with Solomon. Solomon is really into history and is also part Italian, so Rome was a super fun visit. We got to go canyoning in Croatia, ride mopeds around the mountains of Kalymnos, and unexpectedly found ourselves in a parade while staying in Valletta, Malta, that filled the streets.
Learning and Living on a Different Continent
Solomon: There are things we learned to appreciate while living in Europe, such as, fresh bread, walking, public transportation, and communicating despite language barriers. It was such a beautiful thing to see how similar we all are despite growing up across the world. Every nation has something unique to offer.
Danielle: We hosted what we called Breakfast Church every week at our apartment where some of Solomon’s teammates came, and we cooked breakfast, ate together, and watched church service from home. Many of our friends here did not grow up in the church and thus we got to have a lot of really meaningful conversations. We knew coming here would not only be an opportunity to play football but also to be missionaries.
The Browns are back in South Carolina and moving into their second home. While they are not sure what the next year holds, Solomon feels confident he will be playing a second season.
Danielle graduated with a communication studies degree in 2018 and currently works in cybersecurity sales. She also hosts a podcast called All About Life with Danielle Brown where she shares the good, bad, happy, and hard things in life. She previously worked in TV news.
Solomon earned a dual degree in applied mathematics from CSU and engineering from Clemson in 2021. He worked in engineering sales before signing with the European League of Football’s Wroclaw Panthers in Poland.