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Local inducted into home county's hall of fame
Tico Brown's image is on a wall in the gym of the high school he attended in Kokomo, Ind.
As an insurance agent at Cotton States Insurance in Hinesville, Tico Brown is a customer-service oriented businessperson.
But on the basketball court, Brown was legendary.
This weekend, the native of Kokomo, Ind. will be recognized in his hometown for his basketball talent as he’s inducted into Howard County’s Hall of fame.
“I’m deeply honored,” Brown said. “Anytime you are picked to go into a hall of fame, it’s a celebration of your accomplishments. For that, I’m deeply honored that they thought of me. I guess I’m just surprised people still remember me from the days when I played. When you get a little older, you think of that as a previous life. I mean that is the way I thought of basketball these last few years - like a previous life.”
Brown still holds the Continental Basketball Association’s record as the all-time leading scorer with a total of 8,538 points and an average of 23.5 points per game in his eight-year career.
His basketball career started when he was a student at Kokomo High School. Brown was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and track, where he still holds Kokomo’s high-jump record at six feet, eight inches.
But his main passion was basketball.
Initially cut from the team as a freshman, Brown returned the following year and made the varsity squad. As a senior, he averaged 14.5 points and nine rebounds per game.
He played one year at Emmanuel College before being recruited to play for Georgia Tech. During his three years at Georgia Tech, he became the team’s number five all-time leading scorer with 1,308 points and was twice named to the All-Metro Conference. At Tech, he averaged 16-17 points a game.
Brown was the first pick of the second round of the NBA draft for the Utah Jazz in 1979. He ended up in the CBA playing for Anchorage, Detroit and Savannah. In addition to being the all-time leading scorer for the CBA, he led the CBA in scoring twice, once while playing for Detroit and once in Savannah.
His excellence in basketball did not stop after he retired.
Brown currently coaches the AAU South Georgia Kings. Seven of the Kings were selected to participate at a freshman sophomore camp in Norcross, where three finished in the top 50 cream of the crop and two finished in the top 25.
Brown’s 16-year old son, Rion, a sophomore at Liberty County High School, was among those in the top 50.
“Like father, like son,” Lisa Brown, Tico’s wife, said. “Tico is a very humble and modest man. He didn’t tell anyone about the induction but I told him that this was big and being that I’m his biggest fan. I want everyone to know because it is quite an accomplishment. His son always worked hard and looked up to him but now he is even prouder of his father.
“Some of the kids I coach are young and I don’t think they understand what being inducted into the hall of fame really means,” Tico said. “They know it’s an honor for me and the other coaches have made a big deal about it but you know I don’t think it’s really hitting them.
“My son is real proud of me. He understands what this means and that is good enough for me,” Brown said.
He looks forward to going back to his hometown of Kokomo, not only for the induction ceremony but for something that means much more.
“I’m looking forward to hugging and kissing my mother who still lives in Kokomo. I just want to give her a big ole bear hug and a kiss because I have not seen her for a while,” Brown said.
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