MACON — College basketball television analyst Jay Bilas, one of the sport’s most recognizable media personalities, will speak at Mercer University at the annual Tip-Off Banquet. Bilas’ visit at Mercer will follow-up last year’s appearance by the “voice of college basketball,” Dick Vitale. Bilas will be the keynote speaker Tuesday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in Macon at the University Center. His visit to Mercer is being presented by the Mercer Athletic Foundation and The Executive Forum presented by BB&T.
Bilas joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 1995, and provides expert analysis courtside on more than 40 games a year, as well as serving as a studio analyst for ESPN’s weekly “College GameDay” and “College Gamenight” shows. Bilas is also a regular contributor to ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and Mobile ESPN. He also provides expert analysis for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft, the NCAA Men’s Final Four, select “SportsCenter” stories, utilizing both his extensive basketball expertise and legal background. Bilas also serves as a game analyst for CBS Sports during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
In 2007, Bilas was nominated for an Emmy Award as Outstanding Studio Analyst, received the “Best Column of the Year” award from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and received the “Distinguished Young Alumni Award” from Duke Law School.
A consensus Top 40 national recruit from Los Angeles, Calif., Bilas was a member of Mike Krzyzewski’s first No. 1 rated recruiting class in 1982. As a four-year starter for Krzyzewski from 1983-86, Bilas finished his Duke career with 1,062 points and 692 rebounds, and left Duke as its third all-time career field-goal percentage leader (56 percent). As a senior, Bilas was a starter on Krzyzewski’s NCAA record 37-win team that won the ACC Championship and played in the 1986 Final Four and NCAA Championship game.
Bilas was one of two student-athletes in the nation appointed to the NCAA’s Long Range Planning Committee (1984-86). He appeared on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on April 7, 1985, to discuss academics and athletics and was a panelist on the prestigious National Sports Forum with Howard Cosell, Dr. Harry Edwards and Digger Phelps in 1986. Bilas also worked as a production assistant for ABC Sports, including stints at the 1983 PGA Championship and the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Drafted by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Bilas played professional basketball in Italy and Spain from 1986 to 1989. In 1990, Bilas accepted a position as an assistant coach for Krzyzewski. While Bilas was on Krzyzewski’s staff, Duke made three appearances in the NCAA Championship game, winning back-to-back titles in ’91 and ’92.
Bilas has participated as a coach in two “Operation Hardwood – Hoops With the Troops” basketball tournaments in 2005 and 2006, in which NCAA coaches and sports personalities coach military basketball teams at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. He has been an attorney with the Charlotte, N.C., firm of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, since 1992.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Bilas has appeared in various commercials, an episode of the television show “The White Shadow” and as a featured performer in the 1989 Columbia Pictures film “I Come in Peace.” A 1986 graduate of Duke University and a 1992 graduate of Duke Law School, Bilas is of counsel with Moore & Van Allen and a partner in the charitable foundation Athletes United For Youth, which benefits youth education in the greater Charlotte area
The timing of Bilas’ visit will coincide with the start of practice later that week for both the Mercer men’s and women’s basketball teams. Bilas will be one of three media personalities who will address The Executive Forum during the 2010-11 season (Pollster Frank Luntz in November and Wall Street Journal economist Steve Moore in February 2011). In addition to these presentations, two leading business executives will also be speaking as part of the Forum’s 31st season (Michele Molden of Piedmont Healthcare in September and Jerry Wilson of The Coca-Cola Company in April 2011).
Visit www.mercer.edu/forum with details about The Executive Forum’s 2010-11 season and membership information.”
Executive Forum members will receive their membership seating via a membership mailing. Tickets will go on sale to the general public, beginning Sept. 13, for $100. For more information on the event, call (478) 301-2733.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.