Clark Atlanta University establishes scholarship for former NBA referee, alumnus battling cancer

ATLANTA — Clark Atlanta University is launching a new scholarship to help join the fight for one of its own battling pancreatic cancer.

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The college announced the establishment of the Tony Brown Scholarship Endowment for alumnus Tony Brown.

On April 30 of last year, Brown was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Within a week of his diagnosis, he started chemotherapy and an entirely new journey.

Brown graduated from Clark College in 1989, just after it merged with Atlanta University to become Clark Atlanta University.

The website states that Brown’s love of basketball is what continued to drive him toward a career as an NBA referee.


In 2002, he became an NBA referee. In the NBA, Brown worked four All-Star Games in 2006, 2017, 2018 and 2021. He reached his first coveted Finals game in 2020.

Brown never missed a day of work as a college or professional referee, the website states.

According to the National Basketball Referees Association, he has officiated 1,016 regular-season games and 25 playoff games in 17 seasons as an NBA official.

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The scholarship was created to make sure that no athlete has to choose between their sport and education.

To donate or find more information about the scholarship, click here.