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Basketball Legend Walt "Clyde" Frazier To Be Honored At 29th Annual MS Dinner of Champions

STAMFORD, Conn. On Thursday, Nov. 8, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter will host the 29th annual MS Dinner of Champions at the Stamford Marriott Hotel in Stamford, Conn. The chapter will recognize, with one of its highest awards, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, formerly of the New York Knicks NBA basketball team.

Frazier will receive the 2007 J. Walter Kennedy Memorial Award. This award is in recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of gifted athletes and their championship teams. These champion athletes also demonstrate what can be achieved when exceptional talent is combined with perseverance, courage and teamwork on the field. Off the field, these athletes are beacons of hope and help to countless thousands of people in their community where they have volunteered their time and energies with passionate selfless commitment. They are an inspiration to us all, especially to the people throughout the world who are meeting the challenges in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS).

A native of Atlanta, Ga., and the oldest of nine children, Frazier attended Atlanta's Howard High School. He played quarterback on the football team and catcher on the baseball team. Frazier learned basketball on a rutted and dirt playground which was the only facility available at his racially segregated school.

Frazier then attended Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Ill., to play basketball and quickly became one of the premier collegiate basketball players in the country. He was named a Division II All-American in 1964 and 1965. In 1965, Frazier led SIU to the NCAA Division II Tournament and, in 1967, with Frazier playing at point guard, SIU won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Frazier was named Most Valued Player of the 1967 tournament.

Frazier was selected by the New York Knicks in the 1967 NBA Draft and played for them during which time he picked up the nickname "Clyde" because he wore a similar hat to Warren Beatty who played Clyde Barrow in the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1968. He was an NBA All-Star seven times, was named MVP of the 1975 All-Star Game, was named to the All-NBA First Team four times, the All-NBA Second Team twice, and the All-Defensive First Team seven times. With Frazier, the Knicks captured the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973. Frazier ended his career as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In 1987, Frazier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., and, in 1996, he was elected to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Frazier held Knicks franchise records for most games, minutes played, field goals attempted, field goals made, free throws attempted, free throws made, assists and points. Center Patrick Ewing would eventually break most of those records, but Frazier's assists record still stands.

"It is a privilege to recognize Mr. Frazier at this year’s MS Dinner of Champions," said Lisa Gerrol, chapter president. "We are pleased to recognize his accomplishments with the 2007 J. Walter Kennedy Memorial Award."

Armen Keteyian, chief investigative correspondent, CBS News, will serve as master of ceremonies. Keteyian is the recipient of eight Emmy Awards, including four for CBS Sports, three for coverage of the Tour de France (2002-04) and one for a Super Bowl pre-game piece about NFL quarterbacks and their sons (2005). He also has two Sports Journalism Emmys for "Real Sports" — a report on the financing of the Bank One Ballpark in Arizona (1998) and a story on high school basketball star Amare Stoudemire (2001).

The chapter will also recognize, with one of its highest awards, Bruce Tobin, executive vice president of Simon Property Group located in New York, N.Y. A resident of Stamford, Conn., Tobin will receive the 2007 MS Hope Award. This award is presented to individuals exhibiting extraordinary community leadership and support for improving the quality of life for Connecticut residents.

The evening will feature a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner and an awards ceremony.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. The effects of MS are unpredictable. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, fatigue and, in some severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted, and there is no cure. The cause is unknown, and, as a result, there currently is no cure for MS. Funds raised through events, such as the MS Dinner of Champions, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to Connecticut residents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The 2007 MS Dinner of Champions Committee chairperson is Terrance M. Walsh, who is affiliated with MC2, a model management company in New York, N.Y.

For more information about the 2007 MS Dinner of Champions, please contact Kim Maloney at (800) FIGHT MS or e-mail kmaloney@msswct.org.



For More Information

Contact Melissa Saranitzky

Communications Coordinator

Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 239

E-mail: msaranitzky@ctfightsMS.org


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