George Raveling’s Villanova Commencement Address

George Raveling is a member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. He was the first African-American coach ever in the ACC and the Pac-10, was one of the first handful of coaches in Nike’s revolutionary Basketball Sports Marketing Program when they first jumped headfirst into the hoops market, and now serves at Nike’s Global Basketball Director.

His life story reads more like a fairy tale Hollywood movie: a poor kid from Washington, D.C. who goes on to become one of the world’s most fascinating people, propelled by the power and magic of sport and an intense, never-ending intellectual curiosity. The story of how he came to possess the original handwritten version of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have  Dream Speech” is a lesson in serendipity that only Forrest Gump could properly appreciate.

Coach Rav recently delivered the 2016 commencement address at his alma mater, Villanova University. Over the course of his 78 years, as he says, “I have stuffed my suitcase of life experiences with valuable lessons learned. Id like to share five that I believe will fuel your personal success.”

To read his speech in its entirety, which I highly recommend, you can do so here on his website, Coaching For Success at

It’s a powerful message that resonates with anyone who wakes up every day determined to somehow find their way towards a daily, continuous walk with excellence.

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