'Quick Brown Fox' wants to help Gilas
MANILA, Philippines – Legendary Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Ricardo Brown, fondly called "The Quick Brown Fox," is willing to do whatever he can to help the Philippine national basketball team.
Brown, the first Filipino-American to play in the PBA, is back in the country for a series of meet-and-greet events with fans. The league will also honor him on Sunday.
"I will do whatever I can to help the national team," Brown told ABS-CBNnews.com. "I couldn’t do it as a player; I wasn't given the opportunity."
"Initially, I was, but that was taken away because other Asian teams threatened to boycott," he added.
Brown was initially part of the Philippine National Team-Northern Cement but would eventually go on to play in the PBA, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1983 and Most Valuable Player honors in 1995.
Brown believes the current national team, Smart Gilas Pilipinas, is on the right path.
"This is exactly the vision that Danding Cojuango had in 1981 when I played for the National Team-NCC," he said.
"His vision was to reinforce the national team. I think they're on the right path, but it doesn’t happen immediately," Brown added.
"The key is to keep the team together for as long as possible and to have a system and a process. I think consistency and continuity in time will pay dividends."
If given the chance to help the national team, Brown said he would prefer to be in the management side rather than coach on the sidelines.
"I'm not as receptive to coaching. That takes a certain breed, and I think I will be a bit too demanding and may not have the patience," he admitted.
"I would rather be involved in management, in building a team. I think I know the ingredients that it takes to build a winning team, and a team that fans will embrace, because I believe that's very important," Brown added.
Brown, who is now the principal of the Ross Middle School in Artesia, California, will return to the United States next Tuesday but said his ultimate goal was to stay in the Philippines for good.
"This is where I belong, and this is where I want to be," he said.
Brown is recognized as one of the PBA's 25 Greatest Players and was inducted to the league's Hall of Fame in 2009. He won a total of seven championships in the PBA and averaged 23.1 points and 7.3 assists per game, both PBA records.