Horizon League to Honor Coach John McLendon with February 10-12 Celebration

Horizon League to Honor Coach John McLendon with February 10-12 Celebration

History Links INDIANAPOLIS (February 1, 2023) – The Horizon League announced Wednesday that the third annual Coach John McLendon Celebration will take place from Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12. The celebration will be held in conjunction with Northern Kentucky at Wright State. The men’s basketball game is scheduled to be televised at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU on Friday, February 10, with additional coverage on all League digital broadcasts throughout the season. weekend.

The Horizon League has honored former Cleveland State University men’s basketball coach John McLendon in each of the past two seasons. McLendon was hired by Cleveland State in 1966, becoming the first African-American head coach at a predominantly white institution. He led the Vikings for three seasons. In January 2021, McLendon was posthumously selected as the recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the NCAA awards’ highest honor. The award is named after former President Theodore Roosevelt, whose concern for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics led to the creation of the NCAA in 1906.

“We are thrilled to continue to honor the legacy of Coach John McLendon with our third annual celebration. This initiative was started by our #OneHL student-athlete group and has been embraced across the League, giving is a reminder of the transformative and unifying potential of collegiate athletics,” remarked Commissioner Julie Roe Lach. “The League office has partnered with the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative for our first scholarship this year and we are proud to not only continue but expand this annual celebration into 2023.”

McLendon is twice inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor and later as a coach. He attended the University of Kansas where he learned from the legendary Dr. James Naismith. McLendon was recognized for his lifetime of pioneering work and innovation in college basketball.

John McLendon was a forerunner of diversity, equity and inclusion beyond the realm of college athletics. He inspired his successors to continue his legacy through the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI), whose stated goal is to give minorities a boost in their careers through hands-on experiences, opportunities to develop their network and instill the values ​​of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentoring.

Before the celebration officially begins on February 10, the Horizon League will highlight McLendon’s influence on basketball and society as well as the impact of the McLendon Foundation on its website and social media platforms at through videos, interviews and graphics. in addition to national television show ESPNU and ESPN+ productions.

Prior to his stint at Cleveland State, McLendon was named head coach of Cleveland’s professional basketball team, the Cleveland Pipers of the National Industrial Basketball League (NIBL) in 1959, making him the first African head coach. -American of the modern era of professional sports. .

For full coverage of Coach John McLendon’s celebration, visit HorizonLeague.com, follow @HorizonLeague, #McLendonCelebration and #OneHL hashtags on social media, and tune in to all the action on ESPNU and ESPN+.

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