NBA Legend Alex English gives uplifting speech during MLK Community Celebration 

For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are." This quote from Dr. Martin Luther King's speech at Glenville High School in April of 1967 stood true as hundreds of people gathered to honor his memory on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the University of South Carolina Aiken Convocation Center.

USCA partnered with Aiken Technical College to host the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration featuring multiple local representatives including WRDW Anchor Zayna Haliburton, who served as the event emcee, and Alex English, a retired NBA player who served as the keynote speaker.

Dr. Daniel Heimmermann, Chancellor of USC Aiken, spoke on King's legacy, "We believe that each of us in our unique capacities has the power to affect positive change and inspire others to do the same as Dr. King did," he said. Audiences were treated to musical selections from the USCA Chamber Choir and the Second Baptist Church Choir.

Awards were also presented to the K-12 winners of the MLK poster and essay contest. Students were tasked with writing about what MLK Day means to them. South Aiken High School Senior Mya Holston took home second place in the high school category. "I've been doing this since eighth grade. I love it because I learn new information on Martin Luther King every year," she said. For a full list of all the winners click the link here.

During his speech, English emphasized that despite facing racism and discrimination, that didn't stop people of color from excelling in various career fields. "Our elders taught us that if you wanted a job you had to be exceptional," he said. "Sometimes being exceptional might not work but be prepared no matter what the job is. This is why there are so many great African Americans in all areas of society."

English's professional career expands more than three decades in business and sports. Born and raised in Columbia, SC, he played basketball at Dreher High School, was the third person of color to receive a sports scholarship from the University of South Carolina, and holds the record as the University of South Carolina's No. 2 all-time scorer. He was later drafted into the NBA by the Milwaukee Bucks but spent most of his career playing with the Denver Nuggets. While in Denver, English made his mark as the most prolific scorer during the 80's.

"One of the reasons you saw many professional athletes in football, basketball, and at one-time baseball, is because we took that motto to heart 'Be the best you can be.'"

For more information, contact Angela Saxon,