IT’S going to be another sentimental Sunday for the Philippine Basketball Association as the league honors former MVP Ricky Brown in simple rites at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A week after cage legend Robert Jaworski's No. 7 jersey was retired in a nostalgic ceremony at the Big Dome, Brown takes center stage when he is presented with his PBA jacket by commissioner Chito Salud as one of the 25 Greatest Players in the history of the league, according to media bureau chief Willie Marcial.
Likewise, the former Pepperdine University stalwart will also receive his Hall of Fame award as part of the 2009 class that included former San Miguel teammates Samboy Lim and Hector Calma.
The player nicknamed 'Quick Brown Fox' failed to attend both ceremonies as he is now based in California.
Now 55, Brown is arriving on Monday evening following a 22-year absence. He will be in the country for a week to renew ties and touch base with former colleagues and basketball fans.
The league presentation will be held in between the semifinal games pitting Ginebra against B-Meg and Rain or Shine against Talk `N Text.
“It is truly the thrill of a lifetime to return to the Philippines after so many years. Some of the best years of my life were spent on the hard courts of the Araneta Coliseum and Ultra in front of the greatest basketball fans ever, and the multitude of cherished memories will remain in my heart forever,” said Brown, now a principal of Ross Middle School in Artesia, California, in a statement.
“To the Filipino people, it feels so good to be coming home to see you once again.”
While in Manila, Brown will attend meet and greet events organized for his fans on Thursday at the Robinsons Mall, Manila Midtown Level 3 Lobby; Friday at the Robinsons Mall Sports Loop of Galleria; and Saturday at the Robinsons Mall Forum Activity Area.
One of the first Fil-American players to play for the national men’s team of coach Ron Jacobs, Brown was named 1983 PBA Rookie of the Year as part of Great Taste’s dreaded 3Bs (that also included Bogs Adornado and Norman Black).
In 1985, he was adjudged MVP of the league after steering Great Taste to back-to-back titles in the Open and All-Filipino conferences. Overall, he won a total of seven championships and was an integral part of San Miguel Beer’s 1989 Grand Slam feat.
Picked by the Houston Rockets in the third round of the 1979 NBA Draft, Brown was a PBA Mythical Five member in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1988.
To this day, he still holds the league’s all-time best scoring averages of 23.1 points and all-time best assist average per game of 7.3.
Plagued by an assortment of injuries, Brown retired in 1990. In eight seasons, he amassed a total of 7,851 points (27th) and 2,480 assists (12th).