Some of Kansas University’s basketball players slept on the team bus on long road trips to Iowa State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State during the 1990-91 season.
Others listened to music or watched movies.
The team’s leading scorer — three-point bomber Terry Brown — chose something out of the ordinary to occupy his time.
“I remember Terry used to draw. He used to freelance,” recalled former KU forward Patrick Richey, who was a freshman during Brown’s senior year. It was a special season in which the Jayhawks tied for the Big Eight regular-season title and finished national runner-up to Duke.
“I don’t know if a lot of people even knew of his abilities,” Richey added. “One time he drew a boxer. I can’t remember if it was (Mike) Tyson or (Evander) Holyfield. It was unbelievable. Terry always had the talent. It sounds like he’s putting it to good use.”
Indeed, 40-year-old “Downtown” Terry Brown today works as a graphic designer in Minneapolis, Minn.
KU’s all-time single-season three-point leader (111 to Jeff Boschee’s 110) and school-record-holder for most threes in a game (11 vs. North Carolina State in 1991; Mario Chalmers and Billy Thomas are second with eight) manufactures new business designs for corporate clients.
He has created logos, business cards, even some box covers for board games. Some of Brown’s work can be viewed here.
“I love doing it. It’s my second passion other than basketball,” said Brown, a fine-arts major at KU who received a bachelors of applied science in visual communications in 2009 at Minnesota’s Brown College.
“I’ve got a couple clients now. I just finished some illustrations for apparel — like shoes and jackets. I really enjoy what I do,” he added.
Brown — he and his girlfriend Angela have a 1-year-old daughter, Gracie, whose picture can be seen in in-house advertisements in Target stores — can often be found playing basketball when not at work.
He still has that unorthodox style of shooting, in which he places the basketball behind his head before releasing — a la Cole Aldrich.
“I don’t pull it that far back now. I go halfway,” Brown said. “In high school (in Clyde, N.Y.) and junior college (two years at Northeastern A&M;), I wanted to have a jumper that was hard to block. I practiced hours and hours. It’s something I perfected.”
Brown swished 11 three-pointers in 17 tries en route to 42 points in KU’s 105-94 victory over North Carolina State on Jan. 5, 1991, in Allen Fieldhouse.
It ties for eighth-highest scoring output by a Jayhawk.
“I remember they took a three away from me because Alonzo (Jamison) set a moving pick. I would have had 12,” Brown said.
“I guess I was in a trance or something. All through the week I was hearing Rodney Monroe was a better shooter than myself. It put me on edge. I had a point to prove.”
Monroe countered with six threes in 12 tries and finished with 34 points.
The 6-foot-2 Brown also hit seven threes in 10 tries, good for 31 points in KU’s memorable 150-95 victory over Kentucky on Dec. 9, 1989, also in Allen.
“It was coach (Rick) Pitino’s first year at Kentucky. We had a mission we wanted to beat Kentucky, but I didn’t think we set to blow them out like that,” Brown said. “Everybody on our team played great. Unfortunately, Kentucky didn’t play at the level we did. We kind of stuck it to them.”
Brown — he played one season of pro ball (in Mexico) — ranks fifth on KU’s all-time three-point list with 200. Boschee is school leader (338).
“I wish I’d had four years at KU,” Brown said. “If I had four years, the record would probably be untouchable. There definitely have been some great three-point shooters at KU. I’m just happy to be mentioned.”
Richey remains amazed at juco transfer Brown’s ability to pile up points in a hurry.
“Terry had unlimited range,” Richey said. “It didn’t matter where he was on the court. I remember playing pick-up with him at Robinson (Gym). He’d get three or four steps past halfcourt and shoot. He’d make 30 to 40 percent of them.”
Brown, who hasn’t been in Lawrence since 1998, attended KU’s 2009 NCAA Tournament games in Minneapolis.
“I’ve got Adonis on my Facebook,” Brown said of KU teammate Adonis Jordan. “Other than that, I’ve not spoken to anybody in a while. I might try to Facebook some of the guys and try to locate them. It’d be fun to touch base. Coach (Roy) Williams sends me a Christmas card every year from North Carolina. I think that’s cool,” he added.
Richey, who does outside sales for an electronics company and lives in Olathe, plans to contact Brown soon.
“I always thought he was one of the nicest guys I’d ever met. He was like a teddy bear,” Richey said. “I really liked Terry. He provided us a lot of good laughs.”