Jim Brown, a Hall of Fame member in two sports, has died at the age of 87. The Associated Press reported that he died Thursday night at his home in Los Angeles.
Most known for his dominant career in the National Football League, where he is regarded as one of the greatest running backs in league history, Brown is also lauded in the lacrosse world as one of the best to ever pick up a stick.
Brown began his lacrosse career at Manhasset High School in New York where his midfield play earned him all-star honors for three years. At Syracuse University, Brown's all-around athletic ability became evident, as he lettered in four sports and was voted the school's Athlete of the Year in 1956-57.
Brown was a second team All-America selection in lacrosse in 1956, and earned first team honors in 1957, finishing second in the nation in scoring his senior year. Many believe his last game was his greatest moment as a lacrosse player, as Brown scored five goals in one half of play against the nation's top players in the 1957 North/South All-Star game.
Brown went on to achieve great success with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL and was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. But lacrosse never left his heart.
Brown is quoted as having said, "I'd rather play lacrosse six days a week and football on the seventh." That quote is painted on the walls of one of the locker rooms at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.
Brown, inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1983, has stayed close to the sport over the years. In 2011, he became the first recipient of the Tewaaraton Legends Award. In 2015, he took part in the opening ceremonies of the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, standing beside his former Syracuse teammate Oren Lyons. In 2019, the Premier Lacrosse League announced that its MVP award would be named after Brown.