Former Missouri All-American basketball player John Brown has donated $1 million to MU Athletics "to make a significant difference, pave the way for future student-athlete success and set an example for those financially able to give," the athletic department announced in a release Wednesday.
"The University of Missouri means so much to me, and that coupled with my strong relationship with Coach Norm Stewart — I just felt strongly it was time to make a commitment to my alma mater," Brown said in the release. "We are living through difficult times, and Mizzou, like schools around the nation, is facing unprecedented financial hardship. If you've been fortunate enough to have a financial situation that allows you do to so, now is the time to give back."
In a playing career that lasted three seasons, from 1970-73 (NCAA eligibility rules then didn't allow him to play as a freshman, in '69-70), Brown compiled 1,421 points — a career-best for an MU player at the time — and was a two-time All-American and All-Big Eight performer.
He led the Tigers to their first 20-win seasons, in 1971-72 and '72-73, garnering a spot on the 1972 U.S. Olympic team (he didn't play because of injury) before being chosen with the 10th overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
Brown, who was raised in Dixon, just short of 30 miles west of Rolla, played seven seasons in the NBA, for the Hawks, Bulls and Jazz, earning NBA All-Rookie honors in 1973-74 for Atlanta. He went on to finish his pro career in Italy.
Last year, Brown became the seventh men's basketball player in MU history to have his jersey retired, as his No. 50 was raised to the rafters at Mizzou Arena on March 9.