As I continue to work on a video/photo montage project of my trip back to the Philippines last July as a tribute to the great fans of Philippine basketball who welcomed me after 22 years with so much love and warmth, I came across this very special and memorable photo with PBA Commissioner, Chito Salud. The photo was taken seconds after Commissioner Salud awarded me my PBA Hall of Fame trophy at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, July 15.
My induction to the PBA Hall of Fame was actually in October of 2009, but due to extenuating circumstances, I was unfortunately unable to be part of the ceremonies. It was very kind of the Commissioner to do this for me, and I will be always grateful to him for such a wonderful gesture that made my homecoming trip back to Manila even more special.
There are many accolades I can reflect on during my basketball career, but this one stands alone. Only 35 other men can call themselves members of the Philippine Basketball Association Hall of Fame, and that is extremely distinct and meaningful to me.
The beautiful trophy I am holding in this photo and what it stands for cannot be purchased, and it clearly validates the endless years and years of work, sweat and self-punishment I put into this game of basketball, to which I dedicated over 30 years of my life.
Your father, former Commissioner Rudy Salud, was a man of integrity, honor and class, and one whom I admired and respected greatly. You have carried his torch admirably as the PBA continues to provide excellent sports entertainment to the Filipino people, and I salute you for your commitment and dedication to Philippine Basketball.
Congrats and more power to you, the PBA and the greatest basketball fans ever. From my heart, maraming maraming salamat po. – Ricardo Brown