Brown was a freshman guard on a senior-laden Centenary College varsity squad. From Centenary, Brown went on to play for the Yavapai Junior College team in Arizona. An All-American at Yavapai JC, Ricky received a full scholarship offer came to play for Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. In 1979, Brown made his debut with the Waves under coach Gary Colson, where he was All-West Coast in his Junior and Senior years and Southern California Player of the Year. Brown wound up his collegiate career as the school's all-time assist leader and among the top ten in scoring. He was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the 3rd round of the 1979 NBA Draft as a junior eligible. Ricky returned to Pepperdine for his Senior year and was again selected 1st Team All-Conference and recognized as one of the best guards on the West Coast. He played in the prestigious College All-American All Star Game in Indianapolis, Indiana at The NCAA Final Four. His teammates in that star laden game included NBA Hall of Famer, Kevin McHale and former Los Angeles Laker, Larry Drew.
Brown came to Manila in January 1981. He was recruited by Dr. Fernando Carrascoso, Ambassador Danding Cojuangco's deputy, coach Ron Jacobs and Honesto Mayoralgo. Brown's team played against Jacobs' team Loyola at Marymount in College. In the 1981 Jones Cup in Taipei, Brown wore the Philippine flag on his shirt for the first time as a player of the Philippine training team-Northern Cement coached by Ron Jacobs that won the Jones Cup title. Ricky was selected to the Mythical Five in the Jones Cup and was recognized as one of the best players in the tournament. Brown also saw action in other tournaments for De La Salle Green Archers in 1982.
Brown moved on to play professional basketball in the PBA in 1983, where he became the first-ever Filipino-American to play as a 'local' in the league. He was the 1983 Rookie of the Year and 1985 MVP. He was also included in the Mythical Five selection in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1988. In 1983, he was only the 2nd player ever to win the coveted Rookie of the Year Award and also be named to the Mythical Five Team. In that same Rookie Year, Ricky was in a close race for league MVP with teammate Bogs Adornado and eventual MVP, Abet Guidaben. In 2985, Ricky's best year in the PBA, The Quick Brown Fox was simply awesome. He regularly scored more than 30 points per game as well as have double figures in assists. His high game that year was 56 points against Ginebra, but what many people forget is that Ricky had back-to-back 40+ games in the PBA Open Championship versus Norman Black and Magnolia. Ricky was selected the MVP of that Championship Series, which was the 3rd straight title for powerhouse Great Taste Coffee team. During Ricky's somewhat brief career in the PBA (only 7 years and 19 Conferences), Ricky played for the Great Taste Coffee Makers and the San Miguel Beermen, where he won a total of 7 championships during his PBA career. His ball handling skills, without question head and shoulders more advanced than any Filipino in the PBA during that era, his ability to evade defenders with intelligence and quickness, the skillset to score at will from anywhere on the court, and great presence and vision on the court to produce pin point assists made him one of the best point guards and combo guards ever to play in the PBA. Even though Ricky last played more than 27 years ago, he still holds the All-time PBA career scoring average (23.1 ppg) and PBA All-time Best Assist Average (7.3 per game), as well as the best FT percentage over a career at 87.9%.
In 1989, the year of San Miguel's Grand Slam (three championships in one year), he was an integral member of a powerhouse squad that included future Hall of Famers Hector Calma, Samboy Lim, and Ramon Fernandez. Ricardo "Ricky" Brown, The Quick Brown Fox, the first Filipino-American to ever play in the PBA, will go down in PBA history as one of the very best players and sportsman to grace the hardcourts of the Philippines.
In 2000, Brown was named a member of the PBA's 25 Greatest Players. In 2009, he was inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame along with former teammates Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, and Hector Calma. He is now the Principal of Ross Middle School in Artesia, California, and is the first Filipino-American principal to be named in the ABC Unified School District.
Brown's parents were married in Manila in 1945 and moved to the United States the next year. His father Lee Brown was an American serviceman and a former major leaguer with the St.Louis Cardinals. Browns's mother, the former Conrada Vidal, had a family-owned photography shop in Santa Cruz, Manila. Brown has two brothers and a sister born in the Philippines. Ricardo is married to the former Lorma Sahagun, a Filipina from Ilocos Norte, and has two sons, Justin and Kevan. Kevan was born in Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan, Greenhills, an affluent suburb of Metro Manila.
Brown founded the Quick Brown Fox is Ricardo Brown Institute of Typing circa 1984 (closed 1999 at the advent of personal computers in the Philippines). He also made a movie with the comedy king, Dolphy, in 1987 titled Action is Not Missing, which was an entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival and a box-office hit.
Ricky has been in education since 1981, first as a Teacher, then a Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and Principal. In 2008, he became the first Filipino-American Principal in the prestigious ABC Unified School District. Ricky remained Principal at Ross Academy of Creative and Media Arts, a school that became a California School To Watch and a California Gold Ribbon School during his tenure, for nine years. In June of 2017, Ricky was offered and accepted the job of Principal of Tracy High School, a Continuation School and Alternative Education Programs, also in the ABC Unified School District.