Former Cleveland Cavaliers GM and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Wayne Embry will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Team Operations from the Global Sports Management Summit. Embry will receive the award during the group’s meetings in Chicago May 27-29. Embry was the the first African-American team president and first African-American general manager in professional sports. He also spent 10 years in the NBA, playing the the now-defunct Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks in an 11-year NBA career.
“Wayne Embry epitomizes the ideal of leadership,” said Rick Sund, who nominated Embry and is a senior advisor to the Atlanta Hawks. “He has the unique ability to instill commitment, loyalty and camaraderie in everyone within the organization. The personification of his leadership style is reflected in the impact he has had by mentoring countless young men and women, myself included, in their quest to become high-level executives. In particular, the consistent courage and dignity he has shown along the way have inspired minorities who might never have otherwise aspired to a career in the management side of sports.”
Embry was the Cavs GM from 1986-1999. He was responsible for drafting players such as Brad Daugherty, Terrell Brandon, Andre Miller and Zydrunas Ilguaskas. He is currently a senior advisor for the Toronto Raptors and will be receive his award from Masai Ujiri, the president and GM of the Raptors. Ujiri is also the Summit’s governing body co-chair. Past award recipients include Baltimore Ravens GM and former Cleveland Browns tight end Ozzie Newsome and former Indianapolis Colts president and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian.