LSU basketball to name Pete Maravich Assembly Center court after former coach Dale Brown

BATON ROUGE — The person who made LSU basketball video games an occasion within the Pete Maravich Meeting Heart for the primary time — Dale Brown — could have his title completely etched on the court docket.

The LSU Board of Supervisors on Friday accepted by 12-3 vote to call the Meeting Heart court docket in honor of the coach who took the Tigers to the Last 4 in 1981 and 1986 after inheriting a dying program in 1972.

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The ’86 staff was the worst seed at No. 11 to make the Last 4 in historical past on the time.

He nearly went for a third time in 1987 with a stunning upset of No. 3 Indiana and coach Bobby Knight, however fell, 77-76, solely after two missed free throws within the closing seconds. Brown was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Brown’s star gamers, excessive scoring movement offense and his scheduling of extremely ranked, model title groups in non-conference from the late Seventies by means of the Nineteen Nineties commonly stuffed the Meeting Heart, which opened in January 1972 simply months earlier than his arrival.

He recruited such stars as Rudy Macklin from Louisville, John Williams from Los Angeles, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson) from Gulfport, Mississippi, and Shaquille O’Neal from San Antonio, amongst others.

“I did not marketing campaign for this, however I respect what individuals have executed to make this occur,” Brown instructed the USA TODAY Community Friday. “Awards and honors have been by no means a aim of mine. My solely objectives have been to construct LSU right into a nationwide energy and to assist younger males enhance their lives. Now, although, with the great honor LSU’s Board of Supervisors has simply given me – the naming of Dale Brown Court docket – I get to make use of one of the highly effective phrases within the English language: Thank You!”

Brown, 85, retired after the 1997 season following SEC championships in 1979, ’81, ’85 and ’91 with an SEC Match title in 1980. There was additionally NCAA probation after Brown left for violations by his program relating to the recruitment of Lester Earl.

A local of Minot, North Dakota, Brown by no means left Baton Rouge after shifting in 1972 from an assistant teaching job at Washington State.

“Thanks to the individuals of Louisiana who’ve all the time allowed me to get pleasure from such a particular relationship with each LSU and this complete state that I’ve cherished for therefore lengthy,” he mentioned. “Thanks to the mother and father who entrusted me with their sons. Thanks to my gamers and assistant coaches and help workers. Thanks to LSU followers in all places. You’ve got given me the distinction of a lifetime.”

Brown was a pioneer proponent of pay for school athletes 4 a long time earlier than revenue for athletes by means of Identify, Picture and Likeness laws grew to become a actuality over the summer time.

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“He principally invented the NIL motion,” mentioned FOX sports activities announcer Tim Brando, a Shreveport native who received to know Brown as a sports activities anchor at WAFB Channel 9 in Baton Rouge within the Eighties earlier than going to ESPN. “He was a humanitarian off the court docket and a fantastic coach on it.”

Brando sees himself as a son of Brown, who was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

“I am thrilled with this honor for him. He is sort of a father to me,” mentioned Brando, who delivered an impassioned plea for the court docket to be named for Brown on the Aug. 6 Board of Supervisors assembly. However the vote was delayed till Friday.

“I so needed this to occur whereas he was nonetheless with us and in nice form and lucid as he’s now. I am so blissful for him,” Brando mentioned.

One among Brown’s biggest accomplishments at LSU was constantly being aggressive with SEC energy Kentucky for many of his profession. When Brown arrived in 1972, LSU was 2-35 in opposition to the Wildcats. By 1987, Brown was 13-21 in opposition to Kentucky with a 6-2 run in opposition to the titans of the SEC from 1978-81.

The Tigers upset No. 3 Kentucky, 59-57, in the NCAA Southeast Regional final in Atlanta in 1986 to achieve the Last 4.

LSU went to the NCAA Match 10 straight occasions beneath Brown from 1984-93. The Tigers have reached the NCAA Match twice in a row solely as soon as since – in 2019 and ’21 with the 2020 NCAA Match canceled attributable to COVID-19.

“His accomplishments on the court docket have lengthy been worthy of this,” Brando mentioned. “Dale Brown stays the face and character most recognized with LSU basketball.”

LSU board member Collis Temple Jr., who performed on Brown’s first staff within the 1972-73 season after changing into LSU’s first Black basketball participant beneath earlier coach Press Maravich, silenced the board together with his feedback Friday.

“We have had 10 years to speak about this, and the explanation we have talked about it for 10 years was as a result of some people did not wish to do it,” Temple mentioned. “He modified the trajectory of the state of Louisiana and the mindset of all of the stereotypical negativity.”

The board voted 12-3 in opposition to naming the court docket after Brown and former LSU ladies’s basketball coach Sue Gunter, who’s within the Naismith Corridor of Fame. There’s a statue of Gunter, who died in 2005, within the Meeting Heart concourse.

“Thanks,” Brown mentioned once more. “You’ve got honored me by permitting me to be a part of your lives for therefore a few years now.”

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