NBA LEGENDS HONORED AT 2017 LEGENDS AWARDS GALA

CHICAGO (July 17, 2017) – Basketball legends, Nate Archibald, Bernard King and Dikembe Mutombo were recognized for their work off the court during the National Basketball Retired Players’ Association’s Legends Awards Gala on Saturday, July 22. The Naismith Hall of Fame inductees accepted their awards during the event at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn.

Nate “Tiny” Archibald’s contributions to the game were huge. He was the only man to ever lead the NBA in scoring and assists in a single season until James Harden accomplished the feat this past season. During his 14-year NBA career, Archibald earned six NBA All-Star appearances and a World Championship title with the Boston Celtics. Also known for his big heart, he will accept the Lifetime of Service Award. In his second career, he returned to New York City to run basketball schools for underprivileged kids, and to serve as athletic director at the Harlem Armory homeless shelter until it closed in 1991. Archibald was honored for his work with the city's youth by then New York City Mayor David Dinkins in 1993.

Bernard King, the former Knicks great who ruled the court, will receive the Perseverance Award. Despite knee injuries, he was a prolific scorer and proved to be unstoppable on the offensive end. He led the NBA in scoring during his 1984-85 campaign and averaged better than 22 points for his career. King ended his career as a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team performer, having collected more than 19,000 points during his career.

Gala Attendees had an opportunity to hear from the New York City hoops giants, Archibald and King, along with Sam Perkins during a panel discussion. Perkins, of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, had a successful 17-year NBA career before he was named vice president of player relations to the Indiana Pacers in 2008.

The final award of the evening, the Ambassador of the Year Award, was presented to Dikembe Mutombo, one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players in NBA history. In his 18-year career, Mutombo earned four defensive player of the year awards, six All-Defensive team awards, and second place in the NBA record books for total career blocks. Post-NBA Mutombo dedicated his life to service. He started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve living conditions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo, which earned the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009. Dikembe was also elected as one of 20 winners of the President's Service Awards, the nation's highest honor for volunteer service in 1999.

The Legends Awards Gala served as a vehicle to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund. The DeBusschere Fund provides financial support to eligible NBRPA members, their spouses, children and grandchildren in pursuit of degrees in higher education. To date, the organization has awarded members and their families more than $1.5 million in scholarships through the cornerstone initiative. In 2017, the NBRPA delivered a record-setting 70 scholarships, worth $250,000.

Some of the DeBusschere scholarship recipients received the Earl Lloyd Scholarship. The NBA Legends Foundation, which provides assistance to players in need, awarded 10 recipients a scholarship in excess of $50,000.