NBA Hall of Famer and friend of the Orthopedic Institute of NJ, Willis Reed, along with Lenny Wilkens and Willie Mays were honored by the NBA Memphis Grizzlies on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The three sports figures received the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award in Memphis, the city where King was assassinated in April 1968. The award pays tribute to athletes who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights, in the legacy of Dr. King. Mr. Reed, pictured below at the Orthopedic Institute of NJ, said that Dr. King opened the door for more black Americans to go to college and perhaps make it to the next level as an athlete. Reed said he remembered listening to King speak and marveling at his ability as an orator. “I wish I had the ability to do that, but I don’t have that ability,” Reed said. “My ability was in my legs and my arms and my eyes, and hopefully that was able to translate into inspiring some young people.”
In a related celebration, The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey was proud to team up with Pass It Along in sponsoring a celebration of Dr King’s life. As part of their annual MLK Day Celebration, Pass It Along hosted a Sunday Supper in Sparta, New Jersey on January 16th. The purpose of the event was to enable members of the community to come together and discuss issues that affect them and possible actions that can be taken to highlight the power each individual has to make a difference. On the following night, January 17th, Pass It Along, with sponsorship provided by the Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey, held the Community Jam at Newton First Presbyterian Church. This event consisted of a candlelight vigil, community performances, and a movie which commemorated Dr. King and what he stood for. The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey was honored to join Pass It Along in a day of service and celebration for Dr. King. Pass It Along educates youth about the pressing needs in their communities and the importance of community service and provides a forum for them to create solutions and take action. Their program allows students to develop an ethic for service that, in turn, becomes a fundamental part of their lives forever. For more information about Pass It Along, visit www.passitalong.org. The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey is a thriving orthopedic surgery and sports medicine practice. The medical staff specializes in treating sports-related injuries and disorders, with an emphasis on those involving the shoulder, knee, spine, foot and ankle as well as proving pain management and physical therapy. The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey serves Warren, Sussex, and Morris counties with 12 office locations. For more information on The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey, call 1-877-55-ORTHO or go to www.ORTHOPEDICNJ.com.