WWE’s Mark Henry, NBA’s Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Nate Archibald honored at NYC’s Cal Ramsey Awards

Manhattan’s Clyde Frazier’s Wine & Dine was the place to be on Wednesday night. The midtown restaurant hosted the Second Annual Cal Ramsey Awards, an evening to honor notables who have displayed excellence, dignity, perseverance and commitment to community.

Ramsey, the eleventh pick in the 1959 NBA Draft by the St. Louis Hawks out of New York University is about as New York City as you can get.

A Commerce High School alum, Ramsey’s Rucker Park duels with NBA legend, Connie Hawkins were the talk of uptown in the era before social media.

A former top assistant coach with NYU’s men’s basketball team, Ramsey was must see TV as a color analyst for Knicks broadcasts in the 1970s.

A former Chairman of the New York City Sports Commission, he has been a long-time advocate for children of the city. He’s set the example for making a difference in the NYC and now on Wednesday he acknowledged pillars in the five boroughs who have done the same.

Emceed by MSG and FOX Sports broadcaster, Kenny Albert, Wednesday’s night gathering honored notables like the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry.

Henry, a recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee, first met Ramsey when when the former two-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion competed in Foot Locker’s Slam Fest; an event where Ramsey served as commissioner. “He’s a good recruiter,” he said.

Days earlier, Henry had surgery to repair his torn meniscus. He gave his acceptance speech on crutches. “I’m a nice guy and don’t take it as a weakness,” joked Henry.

 

“I’ve been a world champion in three sports, I’m hyper competitive and I don’t like to lose. But that is one of the reasons why we’re here. We’re here because we want to do something for someone else.”

Dignitaries in attendance included former New York City mayor, David Dinkins, retired WNBA and New York Liberty all star forward, Kym Hampton, Knicks legends Charles Smith and Mel Davis, Tom Hoover, President of the NBA Retired Players Association’s New York chapter and  LeRoy Hendricks, Major League Baseball’s top security executive.

Other nominees at Ramsey’s award dinner were Russel Shuler, CEO & Founder of Youth Education Through Sport, Inc, Jeff Korek, a Senior Trial Partner at Gershowitz Libo & Korek, Robert Capers, nominee of former U.S. President, Barack Obama as a successor to Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Willis Reed was also a Cal Ramsey Award Honoree. “The Captain,” authored one of the greatest stories in NBA history when he emerged from the Madison Square Garden tunnel after suffering a serious injury in Game 5 of the 1970 NBA Finals to battle Wilt Chamberlain and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Reed’s former Knicks teammate, Walt “Clyde” Frazier was also a 2018 Cal Ramsey Award Honoree. “I’m very honored to receive this award especially at Clyde’s Wine and Dine,” Frazier told the crowd Wednesday night.

The Naismith Hall of Famer’s 36 point, 19 assist effort in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Playoffs is often called the greatest performance in Knicks history. “I’ve only seen the good side of New Yorkers,” he said.

“I was in the street once and I got booed a few times when the team wasn’t thriving, but other than that, I’ve only seen the good side of New Yorkers and obviously we know you guys are the greatest fans in the world.”

NBA Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald got the nod as an honoree also. “I am honored to be here tonight,” said Archibald.

“Not because I’m getting an honor, or I’m being honored, I’m just glad to be here. Many don’t know that this is my second chance and if you don’t know what I’m talking about look it up.”

A South Bronx native by way of DeWitt Clinton High School, Archibald led the NBA in points and rebounds during the 1972-73 season; averaging a healthy 34 points and 11.4 assists in 80 games played.

An NBA champion and six-time NBA All Star, Archibald is still active in the Bronx. “I think it needs to be a joint effort on all of us here tonight that we need to look at communities,” he said.

“Not just the Bronx, not just Brooklyn, not certain areas, but communities and have an outlet for our kids. Okay? And we need more people to do this. It doesn’t take one or two people. We need to open a lot more of these community centers, for our kids. I’m upset tonight because they’re talking about building more places to house our kids and I’m not talking about schools; in the Bronx and in Brooklyn and in Queens and maybe in your neighborhood. Why don’t we open up these schools, community centers? Because that was my outlet!”

Previous winners of Cal Ramsey Awards have included the founder of the Rucker Pro League, Bob McCullough; broadcasting icon Bob Wolff; WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon; and NBA legends Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Kiki Vandeweghe.

For more information on Cal Ramsey and the Cal Ramsey fund, visit www.calramseyfund.org.

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