Slick Leonard to be honored with 2014 Pathfinder Award

In the same week that Slick Leonard officially goes into the Naismith Hall of Fame – finally! – he’ll be recognized with a prestigious award in Indianapolis.

Leonard, 81, is the recipient of the 2014 Pathfinder award, presented annually since 1988 by Indiana Sports Corp, honors individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of America’s youth.

“We’re thrilled to present this year’s Pathfinder Award to one of our most iconic Hoosiers,” said Indiana Sports Corp President Allison Melangton in a statement. “For decades, Slick Leonard has taken pride in helping citizens, charities and youth as well as adding to the rich history of basketball in the state of Indiana.”

The annual Pathfinder Awards will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom on Tuesday, August 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Pacers President Larry Bird was among the first recipients in 1988. Other notable winners within the Pacers family include the late Mel Simon, Jim Morris, Donnie Walsh, George McGinnis, and Herb Simon.

Leonard hit crucial free throws to lead Indiana University to the 1953 NCAA Championship. He then led the dominant ABA Indiana Pacers to three titles (1970, 1972, 1973) and has 529 career wins. So much of Indianapolis and the local basketball community knows Leonard for his candid analysis of the Pacers, a role he’s held since 1985, and his trademark phrase of course, “BOOM BABY!”

Leonard has made a tremendous impact on Indiana basketball and the community. The award is well deserved for a man that loves nothing more than Indy and basketball.

As for his speech — “CAN’T WAIT!”

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