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Brown grateful for help of others

Retired HCC basketball coach Jim Brown humbly accepts intuction into the Region XX Hall of Fame.

Retired HCC basketball coach Jim Brown humbly accepts intuction into the Region XX Hall of Fame.

November 04, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

For nearly a quarter century, Jim Brown was in the driver's seat of success as head coach of the Hagerstown Community College men's basketball team.

He was the driving force to 517 wins over 23 seasons with the Hawks through recruiting, coaching and organizing the efforts of one of the top junior college programs in the region.

Now retired from the school and eight months removed from his final game, Brown is now in HCC's backseat. It was his first season off the bench since the 1970s when the Hawks opened their season Friday.

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Brown was on hand Saturday for the final round of the Region XX Hall of Fame tournament at the HCC athletic complex, the prelude to his induction as part of the 2002 class to the National Junior College's regional shrine.

And in that, Brown admits, he was in the backseat during his whole journey.

"This (induction) isn't about Jim Brown," Brown said. "I never took a shot the entire time I was at HCC. It was the excellent players, the fans, the college and the booster club that helped me get here. I'm humbled by it."

Brown was inducted after Saturday's HCC-Rockville along with Tom Bichy of Montgomery/Rockville, Lee Frank of CCAC/South and Jack Nichols of Harford Community College.

All four were cited for their contributions to the athletic success of Region XX.

"Everyone gets inducted according to accomplishments," said Brown, who helped create of the yearly tournament while he was HCC's athletic director. The yearly tournament is played in conjuction with the induction ceremonies.

"It's always an honor to be chosen by your peers in an event like this. I'm excited because this is a privelege and an honor."

Brown follows Irv Easterday into the Region Hall, which puts the first two HCC athletic directors in enshrinement.

Brown is now a member of the HCC, Washington County's and Region XX's circles of achievement.

"Everyone of these are an indication that you were respected for what you accompished and your success," Brown said.

The Hawks have picked up where he let off under new coach Kenny Keyes, a former assistant of Brown's.

The run-and-gun, fast-paced style is still en vogue as proven on Saturday.

Two players - Jay Wingate and Gerbront Gaddy - remain from Brown's final season. Wingate scored six points and Gaddy eight in HCC's opening win on Friday.

But Brown's contribution to the HCC - and to Region XX - might be capsulized in a series of games against one heated rival.

"In the case of basketball, the classic battles between HCC and Allegany won't ever be forgotten," Brown said. "They were probably the most intense games ever to be played here."

Even though Brown has now gone full circle at HCC, he admits he had some odd feelings about going to a Hawks' game that he wasn't coaching.

"I was thinking about what I'd say about that," he said. "When you sit there an look at the bench where you spent so much time ... it was long run. A lot of water went over the dam."

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