PRO BASKETBALL PLAYER
John Brown was a small town basketball phenomenon that led his high school team to a record that will never be broken, a perfect 36–0 season. He also helped establish the Missouri Tigers as one of the top teams in college basketball during his playing days; a legacy that continues through today.
THE EARLY YEARS
John Brown was born on December 14, 1951, in Frankfurt, Germany, but grew up in the town of Dixon. His 6´7. frame was an imposing force in the Frisco League. During his senior year for the Bulldogs, he dominated the competition and averaged 31.5 points per game and led the team all the way to the state championship and a perfect record. He was a dominating player in every facet of the game, and practically every major college in the Midwest wanted him to be a part of their team. Luckily for Missouri basketball fans, he was loyal to his home state and signed with the University of Missouri.
RISE TO FAME
John had limited success his freshman year at Mizzou, but coaches knew a player of his size and ability would be an asset to the team down the road. During his sophomore year, he finally broke into the starting lineup, averaged more than fifteen points a game, and never looked back.
In 1972, John was a junior and one of the best big men in college basketball. He averaged more than 20 points and 11 rebounds per game while leading the Tigers to an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. He had almost identical numbers his senior year and once again took Mizzou to the NIT. In both of those seasons, he earned the honor of being an All Big 8 Conference First Team selection. He left the University of Missouri as the school’s all-time leading
scorer, which attracted plenty of attention from NBA coaches. In 1973, the Atlanta Hawks chose him in the first round as the tenth overall pick.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
His first year in the league, he made the NBA All-Rookie team as the Hawks finished second in the Central Division. Brown played a total of seven years in the NBA, most of it with Atlanta. During the final years of his career, he bounced around between Chicago and Utah, before he ended up with the Hawks again in 1980. It was his last year in the NBA, and it turned out to be one of the most successful for the team. Atlanta finished first in the Central Division and made
the playoffs against Julius Irving and the Philadelphia 76ers. He finished his NBA career with 3,614 points and 2,126 rebounds. He is still a fixture in the stands at Missouri home games and is still one of the top players to ever emerge from the Show Me State.
*Brown scored the first ever basket during an official game at the Hearnes Center in Columbia on November 25, 1972.
*The Hearnes Center has been called “The House That John Brown Built.”