Former NBA player says inspiration can come from unusual places

By: Jordan Geddis
Sep 21, 2016
Mike Glenn Speaking at Claflin
Former NBA player Mike Glenn speaks Sept. 14 as part of the Dean's Lecture Series hosted by the Claflin School of Business. (Panther photo by Jordan Geddis)

Former NBA player Mike Glenn spoke to Claflin students about opportunities, learning experiences and characteristics students should develop.

Speaking Sept. 14 as part of the Dean's Lecture Series hosted by the Claflin School of Business, Glenn told students to be confident in themselves.

“I want you to believe the thing you do will be successful for you," Glenn said.

Glenn told students there were times when he didn't know what would happen next but he just let the universe handle it and he stayed focused.

Glenn played played 10 seasons from 1977-86 in the NBA with the Buffalo Braves, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks. After retirement, he worked as the Atlanta Hawks' color commentator on SportSouth and FSN from 1992-2005, and now serves as the Hawks' pregame and postgame analyst on FSN South.

“There will be a time where you will have to trust the universe," Glenn said. “You’re at the right place at the right time."

He gave students a list of characteristics to be successful:

* Accept the challenges.

* Make thoughts as big as dreams.

* Build good relationships.

* Let the universe handle the detail.

Glenn encouraged students to keep learning even after they are done with college. Read books because it is a great way to keep learning, he said.

Glenn runs the Mike Glenn All-Star Basketball Camp for the Hearing-Impaired, which is the nation's first basketball camp for deaf athletes and is offered every summer, free of charge, to as many as 120 deaf athletes from across the country.

He detailed how he came to be involved with deaf students.

Glenn said he was taught some sign language by one of his father’s deaf female basketball players. She didn't know it, but she was my role model, Glenn said.

"Sometimes in life, opportunities just come to you," Glenn said.

While he was playing with the Knicks, Glenn was invited to speak to deaf kids at a basketball tournament. That's when he came up with the idea to start a basketball camp for the deaf.

Glenn started the first deaf basketball camp in Long Island, New York.

The camp continued to grow, Glenn said. In 1983 it became co-educational, allowing deaf girls to join.

“It was a wonderful camp and a wonderful experience," Glenn said.

Glenn said the idea to do the camp was inspired by the deaf girls on his father’s team he got to know as a little boy.

"You never know where you're going to get inspiration and how it will contribute to your success," Glenn said.

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