Peeples, Raveling Named 2023 Unity Series Legends
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball program will host Kentucky State on Thursday inside of Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center at 7 p.m. ET and it will mark the third installment of the program’s Unity Series. For the second consecutive season the game will honor a pair of legends, two individuals who have a history as a trailblazer in diversity, equity and inclusion.
UK is proud to honor George Raveling and P.G. Peeples as its two recipients for this year’s Unity Series Legends. The duo will be recognized at Thursday’s game and will also address both teams at a dinner on Wednesday.
Raveling has made a global impact on the game and been a great friend of Kentucky basketball through key positions on the boards of the NABC, the NCAA, USA Basketball, and Nike. Raveling was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, the same year as Kentucky’s John Calipari.
Raveling spent his playing days at Villanova, and coached Washington State, USC, and Iowa. He was the first African American basketball coach in the then-named Pac-8 Conference. In 1984 and again in 1988, he served as an assistant coach on the medal-winning U.S. Olympic teams. He was a broadcaster for Fox Sports and CBS, and then became Nike Director of Grassroots Basketball and later Director of International Basketball. Raveling was working as security at the March on Washington in 1963 and he now owns the original typewritten pages of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
A native of Lynch, Kentucky, Porter “P.G.” Peeples graduated from UK in 1968. He received the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the December 2019 Commencement ceremonies. At the age of 22, he was named the director of the Lexington chapter of the Urban League in 1969, becoming the youngest director in the United States.
Peeples has been a champion and advocate for the disadvantaged of Lexington, focusing on the basic needs of community members, such as housing, sustainable employment, education, and fundamental fairness. He has provided leadership to UK, including the basketball program, the Blue Grass Community Foundation, Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation, the Kentucky Housing Corporation, the Kentucky Civil Rights Commission, Commerce Lexington Minority Business, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and the Fayette County Public Schools Equity Council. His impact on the Lexington community is profound.
The 2023 game will mark the third edition of Kentucky’s “Unity Series.” The Wildcats hosted Southern in 2021 and Florida A&M a season ago. The Unity Series ensures the Wildcats will play at least one historically black college and university each season, with the game also set to raise awareness of the missions of the HBCUs and to provide opportunities for students at both institutions.
In addition to Raveling and Peeples taking part in a joint dinner between the two participating teams, the University of Kentucky Athletic Department will host an “Athletics 101 Crash Seminar” for minority students currently enrolled at UK prior to Thursday’s contest. The department will provide speakers and offer networking opportunities for students with interest in interning with the department. Participants will also be provided a ticket to admission to the game later that evening.
UK and the Thorobreds will tip off at 7 p.m. ET and the game will air live on SEC Network+. Kentucky opens regular-season action on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. ET at home against New Mexico State.