Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable

February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012


Hardwood Pioneers Reflect Roundtable open to NBRPA members & public at Walt Disney World Swan Resort

CHICAGO, ILL. – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, will celebrate Black History Month leading into NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando, Fla. on Friday, Feb. 24. With participation from basketball legends of every era, the NBRPA will host a full day of activities headlined by a first-ever Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable in which Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Dr. Richard A. Lapchick, Earl Lloyd, Dolph Schayes, Sharon Robinson (daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson) and others will discuss the impact of African-American leadership in sports and the game of basketball. The Honorable Marc H. Morial, President & CEO of the National Urban League and former Mayor of New Orleans, will serve as emcee for this very special event.

Presented by Wells Fargo and supported by the NBRPA’s local Orlando Chapter, the Hardwood Pioneers Reflect Roundtable will take place at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort (located at 1200 Epcot Resorts Boulevard in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.) beginning at 5:15 p.m. Tickets to this truly historic panel discussion – together with a pre-event reception – may be purchased at www.LegendsofBasketball.com or by calling 312-913-9400. Media wishing to attend or arrange interviews should contact Paul Corliss at pcorliss@legendsofbasketball.com or 917-621-5744.

“All of our panelists lived and made history,” said NBRPA CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “Earl Lloyd was the first African American to play in an NBA game, just a few years after Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier in baseball. NBA Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes was Earl Lloyd’s teammate, and sports and civil rights activist Rich Lapchick’s father was an NBA head coach in this era. Later, Elgin Baylor, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving – true NBA superstars – changed the league forever and helped make professional basketball the beloved national treasure it is today. And there isn’t a better person to lead and moderate our panel’s discussion than National Urban League President & CEO Marc Morial.”

The Hardwood Pioneers Roundtable will be webcast live at the new LegendsofBasketball.com as part of the NBRPA’s partnership with Lightmaker, a Global Digital Agency. LegendsofBasketball.com has been redesigned and developed by Lightmaker and will relaunch as part of the Association’s All-Star Weekend festivities. For more on Lightmaker, please visit Lightmaker.com. In addition, renowned performance artist Frenchy will capture this historic panel event live on canvas in a painting that will be auctioned live to raise funds for the Legends Care Foundation. Frenchy is a frequent contributor on ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcasts and has a full portfolio of sports artwork at FrenchyLive.com.

The NBRPA’s celebration of Black History Month begins at noon on Feb. 24 with a community visit to Maynard Evans High School (located at 2751 Lake Stanley Road in Orlando) as part of the Legends Care Music & Education Series. As part of this hands-on school visit, former New York Knicks star and PhD Dr. Richard Barnett will inspire students with his Education & Dreams Lecture Series, and the Legends Band – a soulful group comprised of former NBA greats – will conclude with an inspirational musical performance.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes President & Chairman of the Board Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Vice President Danny Schayes, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Steve Hayes, Past President Dr. George W. Tinsley Sr., Thurl Bailey, Otis Birdsong, Harvey Catchings, James Donaldson, Gregory “Bo” Kimble, and LaRue Martin. For more information, please visit www.LegendsofBasketball.com.

Paul Corliss
Senior Director of Communications & Special Projects
National Basketball Retired Players Association
917-621-5744 | pcorliss@legendsofbasketball.com