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Sun, 06.27.1937

George Raveling, Basketball Coach born

George Raveling

*George Raveling was born on this date in 1937. He is a Black former college basketball player, author, and coach.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., George Henry Raveling played basketball in ninth grade. He attended St. Michael's, a Catholic boarding school in Hoban Heights, Pennsylvania. His grandmother's employer helped him enroll. Raveling's father died when he was 9, and his mother was institutionalized when he was 13, so academics became among the most influential forces in his life.

Raveling attended Villanova University near Philadelphia and played basketball. An outstanding rebounder, he set school single-game and season rebounding records in his time. Raveling was team captain in his senior season, leading the Wildcats to consecutive appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1959 and 1960. The Philadelphia Warriors selected him in the eighth round (pick 7) of the 1960 NBA draft.

In 1963, he was among many black men recruited as security for The March on Washington. Raveling has the original typewritten "I Have a Dream" speech given to him by Martin Luther King Jr.  He was so motivated by the speech after the event he asked Dr. King for his prepared speech copy which King gave him. He became an assistant coach at Villanova and then at Maryland in 1969, the first African American coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). He coached at the University of Iowa and the University of Southern California (USC). 

On the morning of September 25, 1994, Raveling's Jeep was in a two-car collision in Los Angeles. He was seriously injured, suffering nine broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and clavicle, and a collapsed lung. He was in intensive care due to bleeding in his chest cavity for two weeks. Citing the automobile crash and planned lengthy rehabilitation, he retired as head coach of USC at age 57. Raveling has worked as the Director for International Basketball for Nike since he retired from USC and has authored two books on rebounding drills, War on the Boards and A Rebounder's Workshop. He has been a color commentator for CBS Sports and FOX Sports Net, often drawing assignments for Pac-10 conference games.

On November 21, 2013, he received the Lapchick Award (in memory of Joe Lapchick, St. John's Basketball Coach, Don Haskins, and Theresa Grentz.   Raveling was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame that same year. On September 8, 2018, he was selected by former University of Maryland head basketball coach Lefty Driesell as one of Driesell's presenters upon his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

To Become a Coach


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