Seattle Center to name October 3rd as Lenny Wilkens Day
Former coach of the Seattle SuperSonics to be honored
SEATTLE (September 29, 2022) – With excitement surrounding the NBA preseason games this weekend at Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle Center will celebrate basketball legend Coach Lenny Wilkens on Monday, Oct. 3, from 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. at the Fisher Pavilion.
Featuring community speakers, a local performance, and appearances by local fixtures in the NBA community, the event will honor the former Seattle SuperSonics coach with a proclamation presented by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell declaring Oct. 3 “Lenny Wilkens Day at Seattle Center”.
“Throughout his prolific career as a player and coach, Lenny Wilkens has set the example for what it means to be a leader, both on the court and as a fixture in the Seattle community,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “One of Seattle's greatest sports icons, his commitment to basketball and work with the Lenny Wilkens Foundation exemplifies the passion and dedication to uplifting others that we strive to build in One Seattle. I want to congratulate Coach Wilkens on all his many accomplishments across a legendary career.”
Recognized by millions of people throughout his career in sports and charitable work, Coach Wilkens was a fixture in bringing the 1979 Seattle SuperSonics to its only NBA Championship as their head coach. As the first coach in NBA history to break the 1,000-victory threshold, Coach Wilkens earned the reputation as being the “Winningest Coach” in professional basketball, and in 2009 was inducted into the Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
As a 9-time NBA All-Star and MVP, Coach Wilkens is considered one of the 50 greatest players, was ranked in the top 15 coaches in the NBA in 2021 and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989 as an NBA player and in 1998 as an NBA coach.
In 1980, Coach Wilkens established the Lenny Wilkens Foundation to provide basic healthcare and education to culturally diverse communities in the Pacific Northwest. As a 40-plus year resident of Bellevue, Coach Wilkens has helped raise millions of dollars for the benefit of children in the Northwest and has been a lifelong inspiration to all.
In October of 2021, the city of Seattle re-named Thomas Street to Lenny Wilkens Way, after Coach Wilkens. Lenny Wilkens Way runs next to Climate Pledge Arena, a brand-new redevelopment of the arena, where Coach Wilkens ruled the hardwood as a Sonics player and coach.
“Coach Wilkens has been a fixture in the NBA and our community for years. I’m honored we’re able to celebrate his accomplishments and name October 3rd “Lenny Wilkens Day” on our campus,” said Robert Nellams, director of Seattle Center.
The free event will kick-off prior to the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trail Blazers game at Climate Pledge Arena.
About Seattle Center
Seattle Center is celebrating 60 years with all that is “New, Now, and Next” as Seattle’s hub for arts, sports, community events, and cultural festivals. Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the dynamic 74-acre campus has transformed over the years to respond to, reflect, and represent the region’s ever-broadening community. Seattle Center and its iconic International Fountain are often referred to as the “Heart of Seattle,” serving as a treasured community gathering place where the local, regional, national, and international visitors come together every day. Today more than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations reside on the grounds, along with a diverse variety of public programs and thousands of events attracting more than 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences, and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.
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