There were many bonds former University of Arkansas basketball standout Ron Brewer former during his career.
Probably top on that list, at least most widely known, was the relationship he developed with former Conway star Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief. Together, that trio formed the famed "Triplets" that helped take the Razorback basketball program to new heights.
"When you think about all of the great basketball players that have played in Arkansas or at the University of Arkansas, my opinion is that Ron is in the top three," Delph said during Monday’s monthly meeting of the Arkansas Sports Club at Ryan’s Steakhouse. "He did a little bit of everything. ... He’s who I think is the greatest player to ever play at the University of Arkansas. That’s saying a lot."
Brewer said a lot on the court with his play.
After spending a year at Westark Community College, Brewer signed to play with Eddie Sutton’s Razorbacks, joining Delph and Moncrief. His best year was the 1977-78 season, when he averaged 18 points per game and earned All-America honors.
Brewer’s late 3-pointer against Notre Dame helped the Hogs win the national third-place game after Arkansas fell to Kentucky in its previous game.
"The games were fun for us," Brewer told the Sports Club. "What was tough was the practices. They were so physical and ferocious. There were no whistles blown for fouls. It was more of a matter of ‘are you tough enough?’."
That toughness, though, helped connect the players together. With the "triplets" leading the way, the closeness the players shared went further than just on the court.
"We had a bond that was everlasting," Brewer said. "That came about because of coach Sutton. He did a good job of bringing people together.
"... That whole team has been close ever since."
Looking back, however, Brewer knows there was a big part of his college experience he missed out on some.
"I went (to class) just enough to stay eligible," Brewer said of his not-so-superb academic career.
Brewer was able to play professional basketball, as he was in the NBA from 1978-1986. During that time, he played for the Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls.
Selected seventh overall by the Blazers, was named to the 1978-79 NBA All-Rookie Team, averaging 13.3 points and 1.3 steals per game. Brewer was drafted directly after Larry Bird and ahead of notable NBA players such as Reggie Theus and Maurice Cheeks.
Still, there was still something missing despite living the life of a pro ball player.
"Getting a college education was a void in my life," Brewer said. "I always said I would go back in the summer (after leaving school for the NBA) and finish my degree. It took me 12 years to determine to go back.
"That came about because I wanted to coach. ... But looking back, I know that was an important thing for me to do."
In fact, it ended with a major milestone in Brewer’s life.
"One of the most rewarding things for me I ever did was when I walked across that stage and got my degree," Brewer said.
Still, sports had its benefits as well that were significant off the court.
"My participation in athletics has allowed me to share relationships with so many good people," Brewer said.
The next meeting of the Arkansas Sports Club will be April 12. Bill Vinning will be the guest speaker.