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NBA Pioneer Wayne Embry Presented With 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman's Cup

Embry was the first African-American general manager in professional sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Basketball Hall of Fame today announced that Wayne Embry is this year’s recipient of the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman’s Cup, an honor recognizing Embry’s support to the Hall of Fame through the years. The award was announced at the annual Reunion Dinner Thursday evening, September 6th.

“Wayne established himself as a true pioneer in basketball -- who, with quiet determination and great strength of character, made a lasting and historic impact on the game to which he dedicated his life,” said Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jerry Colangelo. “We would like to thank him for his hard work, dedication and vision of success for the Basketball Hall of Fame by presenting him with the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman’s Cup.”

A native of Springfield, Ohio, Embry attended Miami University (Ohio) where he was a two-time honorable mention All-American selection. During his tenure at Miami, he was the team’s leading scorer, team captain and MVP in 1957 and 1958. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a minor in business administration. He later went on to play 11 seasons professionally with the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. He was on the 1968 Championship team with the Boston Celtics. In 1971, Embry was named General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, becoming the first African-American GM in the NBA.  From 1985 to 1992, he was vice president and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and became the NBA’s first African-American team president with the Cavaliers in 1994.

“Wayne has served as a trustee for the Basketball Hall of Fame for many years and he has been very instrumental in the planning and execution of the new direction of our organization at all levels,” said Basketball Hall of Fame President and CEO, John L. Doleva. “We cannot thank Wayne enough for his commitment to the game of basketball and the Hall throughout his career.”

Since leaving the Cavaliers and the NBA after over 50 years, Embry has dedicated his life to giving back.  He is actively involved in a substantial number of initiatives in the community.  In 2004 Embry published an autobiography entitled, “The Inside Game: Race, Power, and Politics in the NBA.” He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame as contributor to the sport in 1999 and has served on the board of trustees since 1974.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.