October 24, 2014

Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and Toronto Raptors senior advisor Wayne Embry -- the first African American general manager and the first African American team president in all of professional sports -- will be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) on Tuesday, October 14 at the organization’s annual Giant Steps Awards banquet in Orlando, Florida. Best-selling author and former Sports Illustrated columnist Frank Deford will join Embry as an NCAS Hall of Fame inductee.

The NCAS, based at the University of Central Florida, created its Hall of Fame in 1999. Among the inductees thus far are Nelson Mandela, Jackie and Rachel Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nancy Lieberman, Julius Erving and Tom Sanders. The complete list of Hall of Famers and information about NCAS can be found at www.ncasports.org.

"Throughout the years I have watched Wayne’s career and have had an incredible amount of respect for everything he has accomplished as a player and executive,” said Dr. Richard Lapchick, NCAS Director and chair of the DeVos Sports Business Management program at University of Central Florida. “He has certainly played a significant role in society for positive social change. I am proud that he will be part of the NCAS Hall of Fame. I am lucky to be able to call him friend.”

Embry, whose NBA career dates back to 1958, recently joined Dr Lapchick and ESPN commentator Sage Steele in a discussion called “Shining the Light on Diversity and Inclusion” at the 2014 Global Sports Summit in Aspen, CO. In May, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Team Operations at the 2014 Global Sports Management Summit in Chicago. In March, as a previous winner of Sports Business Daily's annual “Champions: Pioneers and Innovators" award, he was a panelist at the IMG / Sports Business Daily World Conference of Sports.

A native of Springfield, OH, Embry was an All-American center at Miami University of Ohio, leading the team to the NCAA regionals in his senior year. He was a five-time NBA All-Star during his eight years with the Cincinnati Royals, three years with the Boston Celtics and one year with the expansion Milwaukee Bucks, winning a championship ring with the Celtics in 1968. He began his front office career with the Bucks in 1970, facilitating trades for Oscar Robertson and Bob Boozer that resulted in the team’s sole NBA title in 1971. Anchored by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Bucks put together the highest winning percentage in the NBA to that date and became the earliest expansion team to win a title in any professional sport.