As a part of its series in celebration of Black History Month, the Razorback Athletic Department is saluting Trailblazers from the African-American community who have attended the University of Arkansas. Several of the honorees in our series were also selected as Silas Hunt Legacy Award recipients recently.
Ron Brewerplayed for the University of Arkansas basketball teamfor three fantastic seasonsand was the first Razorback to be drafted in the first round of the National Basketball Association Draft, going to the Portland Trailblazers as the No. 7 overall pick of the 1978 draft. One of Razorback Basketball’s legendary “Triplets” along with Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief, Brewer was a two-time All-American and helped guide the Razorbacks to the NCAA Final Four in 1978.
During his stint with the Razorbacks there was no question that Brewer was one of the greats. He completed his career with two Southwest Conference Championships, a Southwest Conference Tournament Championship, a Final Four appearance, two All-Southwest Conference selections as well as a West Tournament MVP award during the 1978 NCAA Tournament. Brewer led his teams to final rankings in the AP poll of No. 18 in 1977 and No. 5 in 1978 and still ranks 15th on Arkansas’ all-time scoring charts without the benefit of a three-point line.
Brewer burst onto the collegiate scene after signing with the Razorbacks out of Westark Junior College and averaged 11.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He improved his numbers to 17.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per contest as ajunior in fewer games as he hit an astonishing 61 percent of his shots. Brewer’s final year with the Razorbacks saw him score 647 points, still the eighth best single-season total in Arkansas history, for an average of 18.0 points per game. His 1,440 points scored ranked third in Razorback history when he left to pursue his professional career.
Following his time in Fayetteville, Brewer played eight years in the NBA with the Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriers, New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls. He was named a first-team All-Rookie in 1978-79 when he averaged 13.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Brewer scored a total of 5,971 points in his NBA career for an average of 11.9 per contest.
Ron Brewer is the father of former Razorback and current Utah Jazz guard Ronnie Brewer.
For more notable firsts of African-American heritage, please jump to The Legacy of Silas Hunt pages presented by the University of Arkansas.