Wednesday, January 9, 2008



Roger William "The Rajah" Brown

Birth: May 22, 1942
Death: Mar. 4, 1997
Brown was a superstar at Brooklyn (NY) Wingate High School, where Connie Hawkins of Brooklyn's Boys' High was his principal rival.

Unfortunately, he became involved with Jack Molinas, a man whose legacy included arranging fixes in basketball games.

As a result, ROGER was not permitted to play at the University of Dayton, was banned from the NBA, and only played in Dayton's amateur leagues.

At age 25 he became the first player signed by the Indiana Pacers of the ABA in 1967. He led the Pacers to three ABA championships, averaging 17.4 points and 6.5 rebounds during an eight-year career.

He is the Pacers' third leading scorer with 10,058 career points.

His No. 35 is one of three numbers retired by the Pacers (Mel Daniels and George McGinnis are the other two).

Because Brown had no available insurance benefits at the time he was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, the Pacers Basketball Corp. Foundation, Inc. established the Roger Brown Legacy Fund, raising money from former and current players, fans, and Indianapolis area businesses to help defray his medical and funeral expenses. Per Roger's wishes, future funding will be made available in the event such circumstances should afflict other Pacers' players or staff.


Nickname: "The Rajah"
Ht. 6-5 Wt. 205
College - Dayton
ABA Teams: Indiana (1967-68 to 1974-75), Memphis (1974-75), Utah (1974-75)

1st Player signed by Indiana Pacers. New York City playground legend;
3-Time ABA All-Pro Selection;
4-Time ABA All-Star Team Member;
ABA All-Time Record Holder of 21 Field Goals in a row;
2nd Player to score 10,000 career points in the ABA;
1970 ABA Playoffs MVP;
Pacers' All-Time ABA Point Leader with 12,118;
Pacers' All-Time ABA Minutes Played Leader with 24,364;
Played on all three Indiana Pacers ABA Championship Teams;
1st Career ABA Player to be nominated to the Basketball Hall of Fame (in 1996);
Unanimous selection to ABA 30 Man All-Time Team.
Passed away in 1996 due to liver cancer.
From Jim O'Brien's 1972-73 Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball:
One of the great one-on-one players in pro ball . . . Very intelligent player with great offensive moves, an excellent shooter and three-point threat . . . Can work his way inside as well as anybody . . . Paces himself as he often plays full 48 minutes . . . Once hit record 53 points in playoff game vs. L.A. Stars . . . Averaged 28.5 ppg in that series in which Pacers won first ABA title (with 53, 39 and 45 in last three games of series) . . . Holds ABA record of hitting 14 straight field goals in one game and 21 in row over three games . . . Elected to at-large seat on Indianapolis City Council in November 1971 . . . He's a deputy coroner, part owner of a grocery store, stock owner in Pacers, and owner of six race horses with Mel Daniels . . . Still has lawsuit filed against NBA for barring him . . . "He can turn it on and turn it off whenever he wants to," remarked Frank Ramsey of the Kentucky Colonels. "He hit 15 out of 19 shots against us and never broke out of a trot." . . . . When he turns it on he's one of the most gifted and most complete players in league . . . "He should be illegal," says one ABA player who got isolated against him on one side of court, a maneuver Pacers pull off when forced to set up on offense . . . "One on one, he's a plague," says one ABA coach.

No comments: