Former Cleveland Cavaliers player and coach Lenny Wilkens will be the speaker for the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m. at the Main Library in downtown Akron.
A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Wilkens had a storied career as both player (1960-1975) and coach in National Basketball Association (NBA). After growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Wilkens attended Providence College, and then went on to a 9-time All-Star playing career in the NBA.
He later won an NBA championship as a coach of the Seattle Supersonics and an Olympic Gold Medal as coach of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Basketball team. Wilkens currently ranks second in all-time wins as an NBA Coach and first in all-time games coached.
Wilkens also has served as a basketball executive and as a broadcaster. He is the founder of the Lenny Wilkens Foundation for Children, which supports children’s healthcare and education. The Wilkens family and foundation have raised well over $10 million dollars supporting their mission, healthcare and education for all children.
Wilkens is also the recipient of the National Civil Rights Sports Legacy Award, an honor that pays tribute to athletes who have laid the foundation for future leaders through their careers in the spirit of Dr. King.
Co-sponsored by the Eta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, this speaker series has brought nationally-known speakers to Akron to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King since 1985.
The program is free and open to the public. Main Library is located at 60 S. High St.