Thursday, July 15, 2010

Downtown’ Terry Brown finds ‘second passion’ in graphic design

KU's Terry Brown looks to pass around a Kentucky defender in this file photo from a game against Kentucky on Dec. 9, 1989.

KU's Terry Brown looks to pass around a Kentucky defender in this file photo from a game against Kentucky on Dec. 9, 1989.


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.”


Rivethead 7 years, 9 months ago

Having attended both of the games mentioned in this article in person, I feel fortunate to have been at school the same time as Terry. I loved his shot. It was so awkward looking but so smooth at the same time!!! Lots of great memories. Glad to hear he's following his passions.

jayhawkinnc 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember the first time I ever saw him shoot.....I was watching KU on TV playing at LSU in the '89 Preseason NIT. He came off the bench and I saw him shoot that weird looking shot and I said to myself "What in the world......(swish).....oh, nice shot. Good job Terry!" It was a different looking shot, but boy was it effective! He sure does bring back a lot of good memories from 1989 to 1991. Very appropriate that his jersey number at KU was "3". Had he played all 4 years at KU, he would have had well over 400 3's. Think about it.....he had exactly 200 3's made in his 2 year career at KU and he was a starter for only 1 of those seasons. Amazing. Glad to hear he's doing well.

jaybate 7 years, 9 months ago

Design town, Terry Brown!

I love stories about these guys finding good roles outside the game.

Terry, IMHO, design would be even more fun than basketball, and hoops is super fun.

Rock Chalk!

Funhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

So the story goes, the moment Terry arrived in Lawrence, Coach Brown picked him up to drive him to campus. Coach asked, Where are the rest of your bags?
Terry replied, This is it.
Terry was carrying all his worldly possessions in one little bag. Going off to colIege, I could relate to that.
Not hearing about Downtown Terry Brown for years, I always wondered what happened to him. This article made my day. Bring more "Where Are They Now" stories like Downtown Terry Brown's.

Clydecito 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember listening to both the referenced games, on the radio, where Downtown went nuts. Great games, great article. Thanks.

amw8716 7 years, 9 months ago

Was a member of the Kansas Jay Hawks? haha. Roy boy used to say at camp that the shot can be ugly as hell, but it does not matter if one has great follow through. Terry had great follow through. I was at that game where he shot in 11 3's against North Carolina State.

Matt Bowers 7 years, 9 months ago

Noticed "Jay Hawk" as well! Might want to make that correction on your resume Downtown. Good article, it is always cool to hear what these guys are up to.

Rock Chalk

jhawklifer 7 years, 9 months ago

I noticed it too. The wording on the section RE his KU career needs work in general. But how many graphic design employers really get that far down a resume like that, anyway? Awesome for Downtown; but he needs to hire a copy editor :)

quigley 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember as a young kid trying to shoot like Downtown Terry Brown in my driveway. I had the Scooter Barry Mullet and the Downtown Terry Brown 3 point shot. I thought I was the coolest.

Josh Galler 7 years, 9 months ago

I have a self-portrait of Terry Brown that was given to my dad. If any one wants to see a picture of it let me know. Very nice work

beerhawk 7 years, 9 months ago

This article made my day, I have very fond memories of staying up past my bed time listening to KU games under the covers with my little hand held radio. Downtown Terry Brown's three point antics got me caught on more than one occasion... Im glad to know that hes doing well.

And I agree with the other posters, it would be pretty sweet to see more "where are they now" type articles. Great stuff guys!

Lance Hobson 7 years, 9 months ago

I'll never forget that long, looping, awkward and deadly delivery. I get reassured just thinking about it, because you knew those shots were going in. We were down 12 against Arkansas in the Elite 8 and right after the half Terry knocked down a couple and that changed the entire game. Alonzo and Richard Smith started to dominate inside when the rest of the team had to stay outside to deal with DTB. He got Roy his first Final 4 and just about brought us back agains Duke. The guy was the real deal and sounds like he still is.

Ironically, he was about the only player from the east coast (I think Clyde, NY?) under Roy Williams. Now that I know Larry Brown recruited him that makes a lot more sense. What a player.

Vikingrich 7 years, 6 months ago

Clyde is in the Northeast, but it's pretty far west and far as Ney York towns go.

Remember watching him in high school. Guy could shoot the lights out of the gym.

bk_furman 7 years, 3 months ago

I wish I had seen this article when it was first published. I attended high school with Terry and had the fun of guarding him every day in practice. He finished his high school career as the states highest scorer. Sadly at that time the three point line had not be instituted in the game nor a shot clock. If both had been Terry would still be the state's highest scoring player. I can't even give a great shooting story because there are to many of them.

Believe it or not, Terry was a better football player. He made some catches as a WR that just were unbelievable. Thanks to Terry I enjoyed being a part of several championship teams in football and basketball. So happy to hear he is doing quite well with his life after basketball.

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