BASKETBALL GREAT DICK BARNETT NAMED COMMISSIONER OF WORLD BASKETBALL LEAGUE
Thursday, July 29, 2004
NEW YORK --- Tennessee State and NBA basketball great Dick Barnett, Ph.D. was recently announced as the commissioner of the World Basketball League and World Basketball Association. He takes the post after serving as a professor of sports management at St. John's University's College in New York. Barnett said the WBL will offer a "top quality basketball league for urban professional men and women in the New York area that will interact with schools and community groups." The WBA will conduct year-round clinics, workshops, outreach programs and intervention initiatives. Adult programs will focus on coping with stress, pressure and health issues. Youth programs and a summer camp for boys and girls (ages 6-17) will focus on basketball skills and peer pressure. Sponsors and corporate tie-ins are being solicited. The NBA is not officially involved, but Barnett has already enlisted the support of such former teammates as Willis Reed, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Earl Monroe and Bill Bradley. Barnett was a three-time All-American basketball player at Tennessee State University. He led the Tigers to three consecutive N.A.I.A. basketball championships under the legendary Hall of Fame coach John B. McLendon. He was also named MVP two consecutive years in championship play in 1958 and 1959. In 1959, Barnett was the number one draft choice in the National Basketball Association with the Syracuse Nationals. He later played in the American Basketball League with the Cleveland Pipers in 1962 and led them to a ABL championship. He rejoined the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West where he played for three years. He was later traded to the New York Knicks where he played on the only two championship teams in the Knicks history, in the 1969-70 and 1972-73 seasons. When Barnett retired as an active player in the 1970s, he was named assistant coach of the New York Knicks under Head Coach Red Holtzman. His number was retired and hangs in the rafters of Madison Square Garden. The WBA will conduct year-round clinics, workshops, outreach programs and intervention initiatives. Adult programs will focus on coping with stress, pressure and health issues. Youth programs and a summer camp for boys and girls (ages 6-17) will focus on basketball skills and peer pressure. Sponsors and corporate tie-ins are being solicited. The NBA is not officially involved, but Barnett has already enlisted the support of such former teammates as Willis Reed, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Earl Monroe and Bill Bradley. More information about the Worldwide Basketball League can be found by visiting the WBL's official website, www.therunWBL.com. More information about Dick Barnett can be found at fallbackbaby.com.