Harper: ‘I’m So Proud of North Park’

Post a Comment » Written on March 6th, 2006     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

PORTLAND, OR (March 6, 2006) – The Portland Trail Blazers drafted North Park University alumnus Michael Harper because of the way he took opposing players to task on the hardwood, but the NBA team recently presented him with its community service award for his educational efforts off the court.

Noting that Harper “has been a visible leader and volunteer in the Portland community for over twenty years,” the Trail Blazers, along with the Bridge Builders youth organization, recently honored him during halftime of their game with the Boston Celtics.

Michael Harper Harper has worked with the Boys and Girls Club and other organizations to help young people in a number of areas, including self-esteem and drug awareness. Although Harper has an insurance business, he also serves as the boys head basketball coach at Riverdale High School.

“As a professional athlete, you should give back to the community,” Harper says. “There’s an expectation that you live by your character. It’s important to show young kids that it’s important to give back.”

Harper was one of eight African-Americans the Trail Blazers honored during the evening as part of Black History Month. Teenagers from a local youth program crafted wall hangings from Kente cloth and presented them to each honoree to signify reverence and respect.

Being on the basketball floor brought back memories. “It was fantastic being back at mid-court at a Trail Blazers game,” says Harper. “I was reminiscing – and waiting for a jump ball.”

Harper speaks with pride as he recalls the magical 1978, 1979, and 1980 seasons when the Vikings won their first three NCAA Division III championships. “I still wear the rings,” he says, adding that his love for the school hasn’t diminished. “A lot of guys don’t wear their rings, but I always wear mine. I’m so proud of North Park.”

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

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