MINNEAPOLIS -- Augsburg men's basketball legend and two-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) MVP Devean George is one of seven individuals selected by the NCAA Office of Inclusion and Human Resources to be recognized as "Living Legends" during the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Final Four week for significant contributions in the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities, and for furthering inclusion within athletics.
"It is an honor to be able to celebrate the lives of these seven men who have served the Twin Cities community as activists, educators, change agents, role models and incredible athletes," said Darryl A. Peal, NCAA managing director of external engagement and community partnerships. "These honorees represent multiple generations of excellence and commitment as men who have invested in and sacrificed for their communities, their professions and their families. Their lives and their work are worthy of celebration."
A North Minneapolis native, George starred on the court for Augsburg in the late 1990s and made small college basketball history in 1999 when he became the first Division III player ever to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. In his career at Augsburg, George led the Auggies to two MIAC regular-season championships and berths in the NCAA Division III national tournament in 1998 and 1999. George finished his college career with 2,258 career points and 868 career rebounds, both second in school history. While playing in just 96 career games, he fell only 13 points short of the school's scoring record. George finished his career with a 23.5 points-per-game average, best in school history.
When the Los Angeles Lakers selected him with the 23rd overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, George began an 11-year professional career, highlighted by three NBA championships with LA from 2000-02. In 630 regular season games, George averaged 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per-game. In 86 career playoff contests, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per-game. He remains the only player who played Division III basketball to ever play in the NBA Finals.
Off the court, George devoted his time and energy to numerous Minneapolis charitable organizations focused on families, education, and children. For six years, he was a sponsor of the Minnesota-based program Why Can't I Go?, which provided underprivileged students with travel-based educational opportunities. Twice each season, George would fly 10 participants and their chaperones to Los Angeles and provide them with hotel accommodations, tickets to a Lakers game and a visit to Disneyland. George served as a role model to these children and inspired them to continue to excel in life.
George continued his charitable involvement upon arriving in Dallas as a member of the Mavericks basketball team. He gave his time and funds to Buckner International, an organization that provides material and personal support to children who find themselves in settings such as orphanages, impoverished households, and violent or abusive environments. In addition to his work with Buckner International, George also informally adopted five families that were involved with the organization.
The NCAA hosts a Legacy Celebration during the Men's and Women's Final Fours as an opportunity to honor former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and community leaders who have had significant achievements on and off the court of competition and who have positively influenced intercollegiate athletics or sports in general.
NCAA inclusion and human resources provides resources, programming and initiatives that support environments of excellence for NCAA student-athletes. The division, which includes external engagement and community partnerships, is committed to the work that furthers diversity, inclusion and gender equity among student-athletes, coaches and administrators at NCAA colleges and universities and in related communities.
| NCAA Release |