Lavon Mercer is a former NBA players for the SanAntonio Spurs who will be receiving a Men of Excellence Iconic Leadership Award as well as participating on the Men's Empowerment Panel " Be The Captain of Your Success/Failure is not an option but a change of course Part II.

Lavon Mercer believes that the earth and we are one. It is written in the bible, “Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust” that we are all of one earthly plane. For us to obtain greatness in life, we must always understand that our earthly plane is connected to our earthly environment. To give is the most positive change that we can make in striving to obtain greatness.

Sports, has rounded me into a truly caring human being. The essence of my life has always been to give through sports. It has made me expand into the positive nature of humanity. Sports, has kept me healthy between trials and tribulations and it has made me wise. Through admiration for other great sportsmen and women I strive for the ultimate goal of being a productive citizen of this great world.

Sports helped me develop the qualities of discipline, tenacity, political awareness, corporate savvy, self-preservation and a greater understanding of myself and the world around me. In each and every aspect of my life I strive for excellence, analytical ability, creativity and spirituality.

As a single parent, I have often called upon my competitive resources that I have gained through the years to assist me in problem solving in my life and family. In many instances, relating a competitive story, has gained attention and taught lessons far above anything that could have been learned by my children in a formal educational setting. In my present life, with my children, I find it necessary to continue utilizing those competitive resources of tenacity, perseverance, mental/spiritual toughness and emotional control. I find it very gratifying that winning with my children generates the same inter-feelings as does winning in a professional competitive game.

As a professional basketball player who competed for more than 22 years, three years in high school, four years at the University of Georgia, Summer Leagues in Italy and camps through the San Antonio Spurs to Fourteen years of competitive sports in Israel.

I was drafted in the third round by the San Antonio Spurs; I went through camp and was sent overseas to Italy and then Israel. Assigned to Hapoel, Tel-Aviv for seven years becoming an Israel citizen in 1985 and then selected as the first black player for the Israeli National Team. As an integrate part of the Israeli national team, I helped carry the team from last place in Europe to number 7th in the World Championship games. I then changed course and played for Maccabi, Tel Aviv in 1997 and played in the European Championship for five different years and a member of the first Israeli team to beat the Russian team in Moscow. My professional competitive experience has made me look back on my life through each stage of my career. I have learned to understand that athletics is an avenue out for most poor youth of yesteryear and today. Sports gave me the family that I wanted the discipline that I needed and the belief in me that I had to obtain in-order to reach a true professional sports plateau.

Player/Coach – Mentored under Mr. Zhika Shereff and Herb Brown two of the most noted coaches in Europe and the USA. As a player/coach my main focus was development of players and growth of Israel basketball for European competition. I worked with Maccabi Tel-Aviv on their “Big Men” development.

Color Commentator and Analyst (1991-92) – Host interviews for sports and television shows in Israel.

I believe that teaching and coaching are profession’s that provide the opportunity to create effective change within individuals. I found it very rewarding to see changes within my participants and athletes during my coaching assignments.

I continue my efforts in teaching, coaching, and mentoring through Global Sports Ambassadors, which is my youth program in the Atlanta area with the international cultural/sport interactions. This amazing phenomenon is that as a teacher, coach and mentor you may forget or not notice your personal impact, but the student, participant or athlete that you impact always remembers.

College Coach
As the former coach of the Spelman College basketball team, an all female-liberal Arts institution with strong academic tradition for more than 129 years, sports have added a new dimension to the academic tradition. My desire was to build a family environment, of the most positive women in the United States to help them see that academics and athletics better prepare them for life endeavors; but athletics will help assist them in enjoying their endeavors even more. I understand coaching builds desire, consistency, determination, and belief in the individual you teach.

I have designed and implemented basketball strategies, as well as done critical evaluations of players’ talents and skills for European teams. I have also created, developed and implemented various youth sports programs, which emphasize the development of self-esteem, mentoring, fitness and health. I have developed and presented clinics and workshops for community agencies, coaches and youth workers. By doing this; I assist individuals in the encouragement of our children which in turn they realized the significance of Health and Fitness through sports participation.

At Spelman College I also served as Associate Director of Athletics and helped touch the lives of all of our scholar athletes through the Intercollegiate Athletic Department. At the same time I have had the opportunity to create effective change that benefits the students, as well as faculty and staff in the college setting through programs and activities dealing with fitness.

Corporate Citizen
My desire is to serve the public and affect change in how corporate enterprise aid people from all walks of life, have generated my involvement into corporate “life”. I have developed Global Sports (1987-Present) and MMW Insurance Company. encompasses motivational speaking, multi-dimensional marketing and promotional, consulting for import and exporting and international contacts between companies on a commission basis.

MMW Insurance works with individuals that have challenges in acquiring health and life insurances that are customer friendly and business attractive for a win, win environment.

Community Leader-Civic
Former Member, Hillside and Truth Center Broad of Trustees
Member, YMCA Wiseman
President, Global Sports Ambassadors
Regional Spokesman for Consul General of Southeast USA
Board Member FIDF “Friends of The Israel Defense”
Insurance Agent – MMW Insurance Services

Sports (Previous) – Member, Ethiopian Immigration Movement (Israel), National spokesman for Asics Shoes (Israel)

Political – Maccabi Representative for Public Relations, Maccabi, Tel-Aviv

Role Model
I have always served as a role model for youth looking for assistance in future development. I have been involved in international television and radio as a broadcaster, spokes person and commentator. As a professional basketball player I have touched the lives of many individuals internationally.

Now I am impacting youth through my involvement in Global Sports Global Sports is a non-profit organization which believes in assisting urban youth in obtaining life goals through the medium of sports. Additional, the program emphasizes the interaction of youth with other youth on a universal level. My pledge is, “I pledge to assist the youth of today that will become leaders of tomorrow”. The youth group was conceived and developed to encourage youth to aspire to the heights of their dreams and become whatever they desire in life. I hope to instill in each youth the desire to develop their mind, body and spirit to work hand in hand with education to build self esteem in order to become a productive citizen contributing to society.

In high school; I started in the ugly duckling league and became one of the most sought after players in the nation. I obtained first team honors in the South Eastern Conference (SEC) as a freshman. I also received the most valuable player award; the most athletic-academic award; and held the block shot record in the SEC for ten years, which was eventually broken by Shaq O’Neil. Nominee Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.

Motivational Speaker
Teenage and Adult Audiences – I present on belief in self and dreams, drugs, remaining in school, and success in life. I engage in motivational dialogues that serve as a significant encouragement to audiences all over the USA, Israel, Holland and France. I create dialogue culturally based on the many years in which I lived in Israel. I present from a black males perspective of Israeli culture on acceptance with a holistic field from my athletic participation.

University of Georgia (1976-1980) attended four years – Agricultural Economics, Park and Recreation; National Louis University, B.S. (1992-1993) Behavioral Sciences