Springfield College, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Beta Sigma Boulé chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity hosted the third annual Education and Leadership Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 7 at Springfield College, featuring Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Grant Hill.
As part of the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend festivities, the Education and Leadership Luncheon gives more than 75 Springfield area high school students the opportunity to listen to Hill speak, ask questions, and engage with representatives of Springfield College, the Beta Sigma Boulé, and Basketball Hall of Fame.
Hill came to national attention during an historic career at Duke University where he helped lead the Blue Devils to national titles in 1991 and 1992. A consensus first-team All-America selection and ACC player of the year in 1994, he was the third player taken in the 1994 NBA draft and he went on to a 19-year career in the league including seven All-Star appearances and NBA co-rookie of the year honors in 1995. Overcoming numerous injuries and challenges, he is also known for his strength of character and philanthropic work earning the NBA sportsmanship award three times and the Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award.
Including having Hill on the campus, Springfield College also welcomed Harlem Globetrotters guard Firefly Fisher and Harlem Globetrotters Director of Player Personnel "Sweet Lou" Dundar, who also was a former coach and player for the Globetrotters.
Following the Education and Leadership Luncheon, there was a Harlem Globetrotters Leadership Panel Discussion: A conversation covering the personal, professional, and industry trends within sports business. Panelists included Fisher, Dunbar, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Munn, and Senior Vice President for Communications Brett Meister. The panel was moderated by two Springfield College Communications/Sports Journalism students.
The Education and Leadership Luncheon has become a staple event as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend. Keynote speakers at previous Education and Leadership Luncheons have included Basketball Hall of Fame inductees, Shaquille O’Neal (2016), Rebecca Lobo (2017), and Mannie Jackson (2017).