George Raveling, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September, has been confirmed as the featured speaker at the Long Beach Unified School District’s annual Most Inspiring Students Awards on May 20.
The event, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Long Beach Hilton, is sponsored by the nonprofit Long Beach Education Foundation. The gospel music-themed evening, complete with student performances, will honor one student from each school for working hard and persevering, often despite difficult odds.
“I’m delighted to be a part of such an inspirational event,” said Raveling, 77, who is now Director of International Basketball for Nike. “I look forward to hearing the stories of these exemplary students. I hope that by sharing some of my experiences, I can encourage these young people to keep striving to be their best.”
Frank Mottek, news anchor for KNX 1070 Radio, will share Master of Ceremonies duties with Long Beach Education Foundation President-Elect Mike Murray and President Jeff Fellenzer.
“We’re honored and thrilled that George Raveling has agreed to join us for this memorable evening,” said Fellenzer, who teaches “Sports, Business and Media” in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC. “George’s work ethic and daily determination to be the best, most productive person he can be, his constant thirst for information and learning, and his motivation to help others fulfill their goals and dreams, is inspiring.”
Raveling, the first African-American head coach in Pac-12 history, has won multiple coach of the year awards. He owns the original copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Raveling obtained the document after volunteering for security detail at the historic speech delivered to a crowd of nearly 250,000 during the 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Details on how Raveling obtained the speech are the subject of a Jan. 19 feature story in Sports Illustrated.
The cost for the dinner event is $100 per person. All proceeds support the Foundation and its work with students. To reserve a seat, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.