John Amaechi to Speak at HUB on October 15
Oct. 3, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State All-Sports Museum and the Penn State Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity are pleased to welcome former Nittany Lion basketball star John Amaechi OBE back to campus at 7:00 PM, Monday October 15 in the HUB -Robeson Center Auditorium for a lecture addressing the power of sport to transform society. Citing his personal experiences, charitable foundation, and his work with the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games he will discuss how companies, charities, and philanthropic organizations can find ways to use sport for good.
Amaechi's story began at the age of seventeen when he picked up a basketball for the first time. Though considered `not athletic enough', `too late to the game' and hampered by a severe injury, he went on to become a star at Penn State where he was recognized as All-Big Ten (1995) and a two-time Academic All-American (1994, 1995). Departing Penn State, Amaechi found a place in the NBA giving credence to his belief that ordinary people can become extraordinary. The first openly gay player in the NBA, his New York Times bestseller Man in the Middle underlines the importance of being true to yourself and provides distinct lessons to anyone ever told that they didn't fit the mold, or weren't capable of great things.
On retirement from sport, Amaechi pursued a PhD in psychology and has become a highly regarded speaker, addressing blue chip corporations throughout Europe and the US. Drawing from experience, his message springs from the belief that self-knowledge and the way we then communicate sits at the heart of individual and team success. Individuals are challenged to look inside themselves to identify and leverage their own strengths. The aim must be to become the best version of themselves, rather than a poor version of a stereotypical `leader'.
In turn it is only when the leadership of a company creates a culture that allows employees to be themselves, and recognizes what language resonates with different people, that real team success can be achieved. The combined result allows the individual to shine, and enables clients to maximize the performance of their human capital. This message of inclusivity and personal achievement is just as powerful in wider society, and is something John works tirelessly to promote. Sixteen years after coming out he also remains the only black, openly gay sportsman in the world.
Opened in 2002, the Penn State All-Sports Museum is currently celebrating its tenth year honoring the achievements of the men and women who have built the proud tradition of Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. Located at the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium, the Penn State All-Sports Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and on Sunday 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Admission is by suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children, seniors, and students.