DETROIT (FOX 2) - When his players ask Wendell Brown about his time in China, they ask what it was like over there or if he can speak Chinese. They ask how he got through it.
"Many days I feared for my safety. But I also knew I was strong enough and blessed enough that I would be okay," said the high school football coach.
Three years ago, Brown returned from China after being sentenced to prison for assault. He spent years incarcerated while maintaining his innocence, claiming it was self-defense that landed him behind bars.
It wasn't an easy experience for him, so when his players ask him, he's honest. "I let them know it’s not a place they would ever want to be. I am well traveler; I’ve been to multiple countries. I enjoyed visiting multiple countries and I never thought I would be in that situation."
The life-changing timeline started in 2016 when he was sentenced. He had traveled there to coach football. Three years later, he returned to Metro Detroit a free man.
Now, back in the driver seat at Detroit King, Brown is still coaching in high school. He also published a new book titled "NFL To Prison Cell" which is a memoir about his fight for freedom.
"Just being at the high, and then being at the low. Two totally different spectrums. One place I worked to be my entire life, and the other I thought I would never be in," Brown said. "I had full faith in God that he didn’t bring me there to leave me there. I knew that I had done nothing wrong. At some point, I didn’t know exactly when, I would be able to raise my hands in victory."
Brown has already scored accolades in football as a player, working as a star linebacker at Ball St and in the Canadian Football League. But he still has his sights set on glory as he readies for another star season that hopefully includes the playoffs.
He considers the expectations for greatness on the field to be act along with greatness off the field; twin pillars for how succeed in life.
"When they take those cleats and walking into their everyday lives, we are making sure they are prepared for that part of life," he said.