Sports Award Dinner Keynote Speaker

Charles Barkley

NBA Hall of Famer and 11-time All-Star, number 34, Charles Barkley has been named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players and was a member of the 1992 USA Olympic “Dream Team”.  “Sir” Charles Barkley, as he is affectionately known, remains a larger than life personality and as you will see tonight is the consummate entertainer.  He is widely respected for his work with the Emmy Award-winning sports television program NBA on TNT and his reputation for being one of the most “quotable” in all of sports is well earned. We have no doubt that it will be an evening to be remembered.

Born in Leeds, Alabama in 1963, Barkley was both a high school and college star. Not initially noticed by the college scouts Barkley grew 6 inches in 12 months in his senior year and averaged 19.1 points and 17.9 rebounds per game leading his school to a 26-3 record.  Barkley wowed college scouts in the conference semifinals by scoring 26 points and ended up a first round draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984. In his rookie year he averaged 14 points and 8.6 rebounds per game with the teammates Julius Erving and Moses Malone.  Barkley credits Malone for taking him under his wing and teaching him, among other things, how to lead by example. By the 1987-1988 season Barkley was named to the All-NBA team for the first of 4 consecutive years when he went on to join the US Olympic team in 1992, helping the infamous “Dream Team” win the gold medal.  Afterwards, Barkley was sent to the Phoenix Suns where he won the MVP award and led the club to the 1993 NBA Finals.  In 2000, he retired as the fourth player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.

He is famous not only for his talent but also his courtside antics and quick wit. He joined talk show TNT in 2003 and currently works as a studio analyst for Inside the NBA along with Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and host Ernie Johnson.  In his transition from a basketball star to a television personality he has reached Pop-Icon status. It has been said that he “Shoots from the hip and speaks from the heart.”