Basketball legends honored with civil rights award - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Basketball legends honored with civil rights award

Grant Hill (Source: WMC Action News 5) Grant Hill (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Basketball legends Grant Hill, Steve Smith, and Lisa Leslie were honored at FedExForum on Sunday for their assists to their communities.

Each received the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy award for following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and advancing human and civil rights in areas from education to homelessness.

Leslie was not able to attend because of a family emergency, but Smith and Hill were grateful for the award.

"To be recognized is overwhelming,” Hill said. “It's humbling. It really is a true honor."

Before receiving their awards, they took part in the Earl Lloyd Sports Legacy Symposium, named for the first African-American to play in the NBA in 1950.

"I wanted to thank the Memphis Grizzlies for naming this platform after my father,” Lloyd’s son Kevin Lloyd said.

Smith and Hill said the reason they followed MLK’s teachings was because of their parents.

"They really instilled in my family about the civil rights movement, Dr. King, what he stood for,” Smith said.

"As you get older you really understand the history of our country, the history of the civil rights movement,” Hill said. “It's been an ongoing relationship with his legacy."

These basketball legends know it’s not just athletes that can make a difference.

"Having compassion and being able to listen and also do your small part, and if we all do our small part we can help in some kind of way,” Smith said.

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