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Rainbow PUSH Coalition Sports Award Banquet

NBA Hall of Famers Bernard King and Isiah Thomas, along with legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg, influential ESPN anchor/journalist Adrienne Lawrence, human rights activist and sports expert Richard Lapchick, and NBA Player's Association career counselor Lloyd Walton, will be honored Thursday at the RainbowPUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund's 46th Annual International Convention.

The Rainbow PUSH Sports Banquet, which begins at 6 p.m., will be held at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Avenue.

A VIP reception and book signing, featuring celebrity athlete authors, will be held at 5 p.m.

During the banquet, Rainbow PUSH Sports, which is directed by Joseph Bryant Jr., will hold a special roundtable entitled "Sports, Society & Social Change: The Impact & Influence of Life Beyond the Playing Field."

Actress and New York Times Best-Selling author Victoria Rowell will serve as the celebrity host.

During the event, Rainbow PUSH will also hold a silent auction featuring autographed items from Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Walter Payton, the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, and much more.

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Life Beyond the Playing Field - a program that helps athletes integrate back into society after they've completed their playing careers.

Bryant said these discussions are valuable to many retired professional athletes, especially those who experience hard times after their celebrated playing days.

"Some of these players are not only broke in their pockets, but broke mentally," he said. "We're here to talk about these issues and the importance of financial literacy and establishing a plan of action through setting up foundations and other revenue streams for former athletes."

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