Toronto Raptors senior basketball adviser Wayne Embry is one of three winners of an award recognizing a commitment to social justice.
Embry and fellow former NBA players George Raveling and Bill Russell will receive the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's 2020 Mannie Jackson-Basketball’s Human Spirit Award.
Embry has been affiliated with the NBA for over 50 years as a player and executive, joining the Raptors in 2004.
Embry was the first Black man to become an NBA general manager when he was named to the post by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1972.
From 1985 to 1992, Embry served as vice-president and general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He moved to an executive vice-president position with the club in 1992, and in 1994 he became the first Black man to be a president and chief operating officer of a team.
The award will be handed out in May as part of Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.
“Mr. Embry sets the example by which we measure ourselves, every day,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a statement. “Having him as a member of our team is an unbelievable gift.
"He reminds us of the privileges we have, because we are all benefiting from the work he and his colleagues did for us."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2021.
The Canadian Press