Brown honored during Great Sports Legends Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Reigning NHRA Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown was honored along an illustrious group of other world-renowned athletes Monday evening in New York City at the 28th annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
Brown with Marc Buoniconti
Joining Brown at the Waldorf-Astoria were Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw from the NFL, James Worthy from the NBA, and Dave Winfield from MLB along with Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, golfer Nick Faldo, jockey Gary Stevens, and former WNBA great Teresa Edwards.
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly received the 2013 Inspiration Award, and two-time NBA champion and current NBA on TNT analyst Kenny Smith was presented the 2013 Buoniconti Fund Award. Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, served as master of ceremonies.
"I've truly been blessed this year, and being recognized by the Buoniconti family is more than anything I could have imagined," said Brown, 37, who grew up in New Jersey and lives in Pittsboro, Ind. “It was a remarkable event, and I’m just humbled to have been able to attend let alone be honored with such dignitaries from the sports world.”
Brown has won 40 NHRA national titles, including 16 on 190-mph Pro Stock Motorcycles and 24 in 330-mph Top Fuel dragsters. Before committing his career to Professional drag racing in 1998, he was a star sprinter at Mercer (N.J.) Community College, where he earned his Associate of Arts degree in business administration. He turned down an athletic scholarship to Long Island University and an invitation to the 1998 U.S. Olympic Trials for the 100-meter dash to pursue his drag racing dream.
Brown has won three titles this season and holds the NHRA record for elapsed time with a run of 3.701 seconds over 1,000 feet that he set last October in Reading.
For becoming the first African-American to win a major U.S. auto racing championship and his commitment to the community, the father of three was selected for MSNBC's Grio.com 100 list of leaders in the African-American community that led to a segment on the Feb. 8, 2013, edition of the NBC Today show.