Soon-to-be Hall of Fame Indiana Pacers coach and broadcaster Bobby “Slick” Leonard will receive the Indiana Sports Corp. 2014 Pathfinder Award. The honor has been presented annually since 1988 to recognize people who have worked to improve the lives of America's youth.
June 10, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. — Indiana Sports Corp will present the 2014 Pathfinder Award to Hall of Fame basketball coach Bobby “Slick” Leonard. The Pathfinder Award, presented annually since 1988 by Indiana Sports Corp, honors individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of America's youth. The legendary coach will be recognized at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on Tuesday, August 5. Later that week, he will also receive basketball’s highest honor as he will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“We're thrilled to present this year's Pathfinder Award to one of our most iconic Hoosiers,” said Allison Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp President. “For decades, Slick Leonard has taken pride in helping citizens, charities and youth as well as adding to the rich history of basketball in the state of Indiana.”
Leonard is in his 29th year with the Pacers as a broadcaster and lends unique perspective to each game along with his vast knowledge of basketball. As Pacers' head coach for 12 years (1968-1980), Leonard won 529 games. The number 529 currently hangs in the rafters of Bankers Life Fieldhouse as one of just six individuals in Pacers history to have a banner raised in his honor.
Before coming to the Pacers, “Slick” had an outstanding playing career on the high school, collegiate and pro levels and was named as one of the state’s “50 Greatest Players.”
A two-time All-American at Indiana University, he was captain of the Hoosiers' 1953 NCAA championship team. He played seven years in the NBA with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers.
Leonard is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and was the first person inducted into the Indiana University Sports Hall of Fame. He was voted by a national sportswriters and broadcasters association as the ABA's All-Time Coach. Recently, he was honored as a member of Indiana University’s All-Century Basketball Team.
This is the 27th year of the Pathfinder Award. Previous recipients include Jeff and Karen Saturday, John Wooden, Larry Bird, Dr. Myles Brand, Governor Mitch Daniels, Tony Dungy, Peyton Manning, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and Dick Vitale, among others.
Indiana Sports Corp's mission is to create positive impact by hosting world-class sporting events that enhance vibrancy in the community, build civic pride, drive economic impact and media exposure, and encourage opportunities for youth. A not-for-profit organization, Indiana Sports Corp was founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission. Our recent and upcoming schedule of events includes NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, Big Ten Football Championship Games through 2021, Big Ten Basketball Tournaments, and much more. For more information, visit www.IndianaSportsCorp.org.
Source: Indiana Sports Corp.