MIAMI — Former NEO Golden Norseman “Downtown” Terry Brown is in an elite group.
Only Brown and Larry Johnson of Nevada-Las Vegas — by way of Odessa (Texas) College — have played in an NJCAA and NCAA championship game.
Brown will be among nine individuals and one national championship team that will be inducted as part of the eighth class of the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies.
Brown’s alma mater, the University of Kansas, faces Villanova at 7:49 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in the Final Four in San Antonio.
Brown played a key role in Northeastern Oklahoma A&M’s march to a junior college championship in 1989 and as a member of a Jayhawk team that reached the NCAA championship game only to fall to Duke, 72-65, in Indianapolis.
Ironically, it was Duke that KU beat 85-81 in overtime Sunday, March 25 to reach the Final Four for the 14th time.
“After watching them play Duke, they knocked down a bunch of 3-pointers, and if they can go out and continue to shoot like that, I think they have a really good chance of upsetting Villanova,” Brown said. “I think it’s going to go down to the wire again. It should be a great game.”
Chicago-Loyola — this year’s Cinderella — faces Michigan in the other semifinal.
“They messed it (brackets) up,” Brown said of the Ramblers. “They are playing great ball, too. They are playing really confident and believe in themselves and each other.”
The Golden Norsemen (36-4) beat Northwest Mississippi 83-76 at Hutchinson, Kansas, for the title.
Brown, who had 16 points in the title game, was the tournament MVP.
He went on to earn NJCAA All-American honors.
The 1989 Golden Norse team, coached by Larry Gipson, was inducted into the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.
He said, “it’s great” being inducted into the NEO hall as an individual.
“I just played one season and it turned out to be a good year,” Brown said.
“We made the decision that we had a great chance of winning the whole tournament,” Brown said. “We just went out the first game and took care of business then pretty much did the same thing in the second game, just played together as a team.
“We stayed focus the whole week.”
Brown rarely started a game for the Norsemen, preferring to come off the bench.
“We (Brown and Gipson) had a little discussion about that and I told him I would rather come off the bench,” Brown said. “I felt a little more comfortable coming off the bench, that I was more relaxed and didn’t have much pressure on me. If I started, I would need to do this and that. That helped me a little bit.
“The butterflies are gone if you don’t start.”
That philosophy continued when he went to KU, where he played for Roy Williams — who succeeded Dean Smith at North Carolina.
Brown was the only Jayhawk to have multiple games of more than seven 3-point goals. He did it four times.
Senior guard broke his record of 111 3-pointers Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk in the game against Duke.
One Kansas record that might be hard to top is Brown’s 11 treys in a 1991 game against North Carolina State.
It would have been 12, but a moving pick violation on Alonzo Jamison was called.
Brown canned four 3-point goals in the ’91 championship game.
Brown currently works for Jostens in Minneapolis, Minnesota, designing championship rings.
“I get to see some of the rings coming through here,” Brown said, noting that he did championship rings for the NBA Miami Heat as well as World Series winners.
Brown will join Ronnie Lowe (football), Dallas Kirk Lewis (basketball), Mike Butcher (baseball), Kaycee Odle Grigg (softball), Bill Yocum (football and wrestling) and Bennie Crossland and Jim Ellis (contributors) as well as the 1986 NJCAA national championship football team as NEO hall inductees.
An induction luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, in the Calcagno Family Ballroom in the Bruce G. Carter Student Union.
Inductees will be introduced during the NEO-Trinity Valley football game that evening at Red Robertson Field.
Tickets for the banquet will go on sale in July.
An additional story on the hall of fame inductees is included in today's edition of the Miami News-Record.