Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda
Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda

South King County Scholar Athlete Fund raises over $50K for local athletes

Sport legends Lenny Wilkens and Steve Raible attended the May 21 event.

Two sports legends joined local residents for breakfast on Saturday at the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund 3rd annual fundraiser.

Held May 21, the third-annual fundraiser included Lenny Wilkens, three-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Fame player and coach, and Steve Raible, former Seattle Seahawks player and sports commentator.

Boys and girls basketball players from the Federal Way Public Schools district and nearby school districts joined nearly 300 parents, players and coaches as they heard stories from Wilkens, 84, about his career in college and the NBA as well as growing up in Brooklyn, New York.

“As the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary, only one person was recognized as a player and coach,” said King County Council member and event chair Pete von Reichbauer. “And that was three-time Hall of Fame legend Lenny Wilkens.”

Wilkens has coached each team he played for during his 15 seasons in the NBA, including the Seattle Supersonics, Portland Trailblazers, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks. He also later coached the Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks.

In 1996, he coached the United States men’s basketball team earn a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1989, then later in 1998 as a coach and in 2010 as assistant coach of the 1992 Dream Team.

In 2021, the city of Seattle renamed a street outside Climate Pledge Arena as “Lenny Wilkens Way.”

With the help of Wilkens, the May 21 fundraiser collected over $50,000 to establish a local sports endowment fund, von Reichbauer said.

Elected officials from Federal Way, Auburn and Kent, along with civic and business leaders attended the event at the Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center.


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The Todd Beamer girls basketball team and coaches with Lenny Wilkens. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

The Todd Beamer girls basketball team and coaches with Lenny Wilkens. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

Lenny Wilkens with the Federal Way High School girls basketball team. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

Lenny Wilkens with the Federal Way High School girls basketball team. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

Lenny Wilkens and Pete von Reichbauer (far right) with the Federal Way High School boys basketball coaches and team. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

Lenny Wilkens and Pete von Reichbauer (far right) with the Federal Way High School boys basketball coaches and team. Photo courtesy of the South King County Scholar Athlete Fund

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