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Monday, January 19, 2009

Bing, Erving Honored During Pregame Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Ceremonies

Basketball Hall of Famers Dave Bing and Julius Erving are this year's recipients of the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award. They were honored during a ceremony prior to Detroit's 87-79 win at Memphis, culminating the Seventh Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Game and Celebration. Both men delivered brief remarks without notes to the crowd of 17,483 fans and a national television audience watching on TNT. Here is a transcript of what they said:

Bing: "I'd like to take the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and thanks for the city of Memphis and in honor of Dr. King. This award means much more than I can express. Thank you so much and I look forward to watching the game."

Erving: "Thank you, David (Aldridge, the master of ceremonies). Thank you ladies and gentlemen. It really is a pleasure to be back here in Memphis, a city that I visited many times during my ABA days. My reflections of 40 years ago when Dr. King was assassinated center around being a senior in high school and coming out and experiencing riots and all kinds of things that were problematic of our society at that time. But I made a dedication at that time that I hopefully could be a change agent and that event, that sacrifice on his part and the spirit of it, as we see, has been continued and has come to full fruition with the election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States. So, I say that receiving this award is something that I am going to hold in high reverence for the rest of my days and I graciously accept it on behalf of my family. Thank you."

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posted by David Friedman @ 10:55 PM

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