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Inaugural Darrell Walker Art and Basketball Fundraiser Happens November 3

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: James Vallone
404.880.6685 Office
JVallone@cau.edu

ATLANTA (October 31, 2016)    Clark Atlanta University (CAU) men's basketball head coach Darrell Walker is set to host the inaugural Darrell Walker Art and Basketball Fundraiser Thurs., Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.  The event happens at the Thomas W. Cole Research Center for Science and Technology.  Walker has been an avid art collector since early in his NBA playing career and continues to this very day.  His collection spans more than 80 pieces.  The funds raised via tickets and auctions will be used by the men's basketball team to offset the cost of summer school to help the players remain on track toward graduation - one of the key tenets of Coach Walker's coaching philosophy.

"Education is the key to any sort of success in life," said Walker.  "It is more important to me as a coach - and a male role model - that these guys graduate. The degree is more important than the wins," he continued.

Walker was introduced into the world of art collecting by former NBA teammate Bernard King, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  King and Walker were playing together with the New York Knicks during the 1983-84 season when King approached the rookie from Arkansas about getting involved with things culturally off the court.  It was later as teammates for the second time with the Washington Bullets that Walker relented to the hounding from his friend.  A trade sent Walker to Detroit in 1989 and that is when he began to purchase art that intrigued him.

That season he acquired three pieces that he still owns... Robert Colescott's "Mama Then Told You So," Jacob Lawrence's "Birth of Toussaint" and "Open Door" by Romare Bearden.  Walker has listed the piece from Colescott as his favorite piece as it was the first purchase he made for his private collection.  He is also fond of the works of Sam Gilliam and Norman Lewis, both artists are known as abstractionist artists.  Most recently he purchased "Pendant (de Benin, Granada y el Cibao)" by Firelei Baez.  The piece is on display at Spelman College before being part of a solo gallery Baez lined up at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Penn. later this fall.

"It is important to know our history through the eyes of African-American artists as art tells a story.  And while art is not for everyone, it helps to spark thought and appreciation of differing views of the same subject.  Whether it is on the basketball court or later in life while working, these players will need to understand and work with those who see things from a different perspective, and I hope the exposure to art helps my players understand the benefit of differences," Walker explained.

There will be a silent auction for pieces of art on display, along with signed basketball memorabilia, and will conclude with a live auction on a piece chosen by Walker.

Category: Athletics, Advancement
Keywords: Darrell Walker