RICARDO Brown formally joins the pantheon of PBA greats on Sunday as the pro league pays tribute to one of the 25 Greatest Players in history and member of the 2009 Hall of Fame class.
Long retired, the 55-year-old Brown, who had stints with Great Taste and San Miguel in a brilliant, eight-year career later ravaged by injuries, will be feted in between the scheduled games pitting Meralco against Petron and B-Meg versus Barangay Ginebra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Brown, one of the few players to win both Rookie of the Year (1983) and MVP (1985) honors, was named one of the 25 Greatest Players in 2000 during the league’s silver anniversary celebration. Nine years later, he was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame together with former San Miguel teammates Samboy Lim and Hector Calma.
Injuries kept the former Pepperdine University alum from travelling to the country and personally receiving his awards.
“I had three back surgeries and that’s one of the reasons why I couldn’t come back here,” said Brown, who arrived in the country last Monday for a week-long to reconnect with basketball fans and friends here.
Commissioner Chito Salud will personally award to Brown, the first-ever Fil-American player in the PBA, his jacket symbolizing his stature as one of the league’s greatest players in its first 25 years. Also to be given out is a reproduction of the Hall of Fame trophy after the original item got broken during shipment to Brown’s residence in California.
“I am very humbled by the PBA doing this for me. I came here to the Philippines and the PBA is sponsoring the meet and greet to meet and embrace the people. That’s what this is all about,” said Brown, who goes by the monicker `The Quick Brown Fox.’
“I’m not here just for the award, but believe me I’m very humbled by that. And I look forward to that. It will be a special evening for me.”
The Fil-Am guard, who established a reputation as a deadly outside shooter from the time he arrived here in 1981, won a total of seven championships—four with Great Taste from 1983-87 and three with San Miguel's Grand Slam team of 1989. He was also named member of the Mythical Team four times.
A third-round draftee of the Houston Rockets in 1979, Brown retired in 1990 and returned to the country for the first time in 22 years. He currently works as a middle school principal in Artesia, California.
Brown is the second PBA great to be honored by the league in a week’s span. Last Sunday, Robert Jaworski’s fabled Ginebra San Miguel jersey was formally retired in a nostalgic, highly-emotional ceremony also at the Big Dome.