Raveling To Receive Lapchick Character Award
Aug 19, 2013
Former USC head men's basketball coach George Raveling has been named as one of three 2013 recipients of the Lapchick Character Award, it was announced today (Aug. 19). Raveling, along with fellow inductees Naismith Hall of Famer Don Haskins and women's basketball pioneeer Theresa Grentz, will be presented their awards at a luncheon on Nov. 21 and be honored later that night during the 2K Sports Classic, benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden.
The award is named after the Hall of Fame coach Joe Lapchick and is presented by a group that includes Joe Lapchick biographer and former player Gus Alfieri. It recognizes those who have shown the character traits of Lapchick, who coached at St. John's and with the New York Knicks.
Raveling was the USC men's basketball head coach from 1987-94 and led the Trojans into the post his last four seasons, making the NCAA Tournament in 1991 and 1992 and playing in the NIT Tournament in 1993 and 1994. His 1992 team, featuring USC's all-time leading scorer Harold Miner, went 24-6 before losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Georgia Tech on a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Raveling was a star player at Villanova before getting into coaching as an assistant at Maryland. He served as a head coach at USC, Washington State and Iowa, amassing 337 victories and six NCAA tournament appearances.
In 1994 Raveling walked away from the coaching profession due to health reasons, but stayed close to basketball as a color commentator for Fox Sports and CBS. He later joined Nike and currently holds the title of Director of International Basketball for Nike.
Outside of his tremendous record as a coach at several different stops, Raveling's career was socially significant. He was the first ever African-American head coach in the ACC and the Pac-8 (now Pac-12). Raveling is not only known for making history by breaking down racial barriers as a coach, but also was a part of history when on August 28, 1963 he received the original copy of the Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream" speech.
Previous winners of the Lapchick Award, which was first presented in 2008, include Naismith Hall of Famers Lou Carnesecca, Dean Smith, Pat Summitt, John Thompson, and Pete Newell.