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Brown makes parish proud

Over the years, many an area athlete have made Lincoln Parish sports fans proud.

On Saturday night, it was former Louisiana Tech University men’s basketball standout P.J. Brown’s turn.

Brown became the sixth representative from the Bulldogs’ basketball program and 53rd overall from the parish to be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Natchitoches Events Center.

Along with boosting Tech’s number of men’s basketball players in the state Sports Hall of Fame, he increased the parish’s total in that sport to 11 (Grambling State University has five).

A product of Winnfield High School, Brown played four seasons at Tech, averaging 10.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

He left the Bulldogs as the program’s No. 2 all-time leader in blocked shots with 241, and No. 5 in rebounds with 1,017.

In the 1992 NBA draft, Brown was chosen No. 29 overall, going to the New Jersey Nets.

But Brown opted to play in Greece for a season before returning to the NBA and joining the Nets for the 1993-94 campaign.

Brown played three seasons with the Nets before signing as a free-agent with the Miami Heat during the 1996 off-season.

Heat coach Pat Riley decided to start Brown for 71 games in the 1996-1997 season and P.J. boosted his shooting percentage and rebounding, received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and was named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.

He would add on two more All-Defensive Team berths to his resume: 1999 with the Heat and in 2001 with the Charlotte Hornets.

In 2001-02, he was chosen as the Central Division recipient of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

The Hornets relocated to New Orleans prior to the 2002-03 season, close to home where Brown had his best scoring seasons, averaging 10.6 points per game in 240 regular-season games from 2002 to 2005.

He averaged 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds during his career, including nine different seasons in which he produced for at least 7.5 rebounds and 9.0 points.

And his 15-year and 1,089-game NBA life came to an ideal conclusion 2008 when he helped the Boston Celtics win a world championship.

The Ruston Daily Leader proudly congratulates P.J. Brown for once again making Lincoln Parish a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame tradition.

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