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Buffaloes hero Carlon Brown retires from basketball

Brown played one season at Colorado, but it was unforgettable.

Daily Camera, Cliff Grassmick

As we have recently seen from folk heroes Nate Tomlinson and Austin Dufault, there comes a time when you have to step away from playing the game you’ve devoted your life to. Today, former Colorado Buffaloes star guard Carlon Brown announced on Instagram that he is retiring from basketball.

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Man, the time has finally arrived. I’ll be 100% transparent and say this is not how I hoped my story would conclude, but this is why I believe it’s so important to fall in love with the process/journey because the end result is NOT guaranteed. I can honestly say I gave this game everything I had and more. Yes, the usual: blood, sweat, and tears. But even more precious and valuable than that, was the amount of time I put into it. Countless hours is an understatement, I think it can be best described as working so often and at any time of day that even the closest people around me, my mom, my wife, best friend and teammates were wondering if I was really where I said I was lol (check the LA fitness/24hr fitness cameras, I was in there labbing or recovering ). There were plenty of highs and lows and I always tried to stay even through it all. This game has done so much for me and I am forever grateful, but the biggest thing it has given me is the ability to meet people. Including people like yourself (if you took the time to read this), all different types of fans from different cities, countries, cultures and backgrounds. The game allowed me to meet my best friend, my wife, my mentors and everyone else in between. I’ve cultivated so many different relationships and as someone who has a degree in sociology, this gift of human interaction has meant more than any contract or Jersey. I don’t know what’s ahead, but I want to be as close to the game as possible and to help those coming up in the game, especially those getting ready to fulfill their own professional adventure. To every supporter, fan, hater, media contributor, agent, teammate, coach etc I thank you for being apart of my journey and teaching me something new about myself and about my game. To every person who worked out with me, played pick up with me, and to my opponents that I went against, thank you for competing, it always was my driving force and brought out the best in me. That part I will most certainly miss, but my body is no longer able to sustain it on an everyday basis. So, THANK YOU ALL AND THANK YOU BASKETBALL I LOVE YOU. Gracias/Toda/Dankeschon/

A post shared by Carlon Brown (@carlbrow89) on

Brown only played one season at Colorado after spending three years at Utah. That one year was 2011-12, which should resonate with you as the Pac-12 Championship team that went to the NCAA Tournament and defeated UNLV.

Coming off an NIT Final Four run, the Buffaloes had a talented and experienced team — they had, most notably, Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Ben Mills — but with Alec Burks having gone to the NBA, they needed a playmaking guard to create offense. Brown was never going to be replace Burks’s production (no one was), but he proved invaluable nonetheless. He was their leading scorer (12.6 points), their leading assist man (2.0) and their go-to scorer when things got tough. Most importantly, Brown was there for Colorado when they needed a hero.

Colorado won four games in four days to win the Pac-12 Championship. Roberson was probably the best player on the floor in every game, but it was Brown who carried the offense and practically willed his way to clutch buckets in each close win. He was named Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, and he absolutely deserved it.

If you remember any play from Brown’s career, it’s probably this windmill dunk to cap their semifinal win over California.

After finishing at Colorado, Brown went on to play with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Idaho Stampede of the NBA D League, Hapoel Tel Aviv B.C. in the Israeli Premier League, and Brose Bramberg and Ratiopharm Ulm of the German Bundesliga.

We hope Carlon will join Tomlinson and Dufault in the coaching ranks (we prefer he join the CU staff with Nate), but no matter which next step he takes after basketball, we wish him the best.