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Agent trying to help in tough times
Faces and places
Tico Brown
Tico Brown sits in his office.
Name: Tico Brown

Occupation: Financial representative for Cotton States Insurance; owner of Brown Insurance Agency, Hinesville

Background: The 51-year-old Brown grew up in basketball county – Indiana, Kokomo, to be exact. He played for one year at Emmanuel College, a small school in northeast Georgia, before transferring to Georgia Tech, then a member of the Metro Conference. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound swingman earned All-Metro Conference first-team honors in 1977 and was a second-team pick in 1978. He was a second-round pick of the NBA’s Utah Jazz in 1979. An NBA career did not pan out for Brown, so he did the next-best thing and joined the Continental Basketball Association. He ended up as the league’s all-time leading scorer with 8,538 points. During his career, which lasted from 1979-88, he played for Anchorage, Alaska, Detroit and for his last two seasons, Savannah. He was on championship teams in Anchorage (1980) and Detroit (1983), and twice led the CBA in scoring — 27.7 points per game with Detroit in 1984 and 31.3 with Savannah in 1987. He also established a CBA playoff record with a 60-point game in 1983 for Detroit.

What do you like most about your job: “I like interacting with people,” Brown said. “I get to help people through some tough times, which is always rewarding. I also get to help them during the good times.”

What do you like least about your job: “The constant change,” he said. “Everything changes – technology, new products, sometimes the old products are taken away. You’ve got to keep up with everything. It’s not easy.”

Salary: According the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual earnings of wage and salary insurance sales agents was $43,870 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $31,640 and $69,180. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of $24,600 or less, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $115,090.

How did you get involved with insurance? “Another Georgia Tech alumnus (Harold Teel) contacted me after hearing I was retiring from basketball,” Brown said. “He convinced me that I had been selling something most of my life — an organization, myself. He said, ‘Why not get paid for selling yourself?’ We’re still close to this day.”

What kind of educational background does someone need for a career in insurance? According to Brown, an industrial management major at Georgia Tech, getting a business degree is wise.
    “Insurance is basically numbers, large numbers,” he said. “Any kind of business background will serve you well. If you can do the job of selling, that’s one thing. If you aspire to do a little more – say own your own business – a business degree is important.  I wanted the freedom of owning my own agency. I needed a background in finance and mathematics to really pull that off.”
    Brown has owned his own agency for nine years.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? “I am still big in basketball,” Brown said.
     For those who may not know, Brown is the father of Liberty County High School basketball standout Rion Brown, a high-flying 6-5 junior. When the Panthers’ season is over, Tico coaches his son and other area standouts on the South Georgia Kings, an AAU team.
    “One of my major goals when I was younger was never to be a coach,” Tico said. “I didn’t think I had the mentality for it. And now, I don’t know if I’m really a good coach, per say. I think I am a good teacher. I’m not just able to tell a kid how to do something, but why they need to do it. I can tell them what they need to do to play at a certain level.”
    Brown doesn’t hesitate to get out on the court with his players.
    “I am 51 years old and can still play a little,” he said with a chuckle.
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