NBA great A. C. Green to speak here

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 5, 2002

Think sexual abstinence is for wimps? Don’t tell that to A.C. Green.

Green won fame as a member of the championship L.A. Lakers teams of the 1980s when he joined Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, James Worthy and Byron Scott as one of the most exciting starting fives in basketball history.

Throughout his NBA career, Green also earned acclaim for his stance on pre-marital sex. Green is one of the nation’s most outspoken advocates for abstinence among young people, and today he brings that message to Selma.

The Christian Speakers Bureau confirmed that Green will appear in Selma.

The Rev. Carl Rawls, director of CHASM, has coordinated Green’s visit, and he thinks the NBA great’s message means a lot to young people in this area.

“The last numbers I saw said we had 201 teen pregnancies in 2000,” Rawls said. “Teen mothers and fathers do not offer discipline or even a sense of morals in the home. It’s a huge problem in our area.”

In fact, Rawls said teen pregnancy affects more than just children raising children.

“It increases the whole system,” he said. “More people get into the welfare system, crime increases because a 16-year-old father can’t get a job, and more people drop out of school.”

According to Rawls, who remembers Green for his “iron-man” awards in the NBA — Green rarely missed a start while playing pro basketball — young men, not just women, need to hear the message of abstinence.

“That’s one of the things A.C. Green teaches,” Rawls said. “It’s OK for guys to say, ‘No.'”

today’s program, sponsored by CHASM and a number of local businesses, is part of Project Dare-to-Dream, and Alabama Unwed Pregnancy Prevention Program.

The conference, dubbed “Stop! Think! and Wait!,” begins at 9 a.m. at Selma University. After a general assembly and a group of panelists, Green will speak from 12:40 p.m. until 1:40 p.m. There will be a reception to honor Green, following a presentation by Mayor James Perkins Jr., at 1:50 p.m.

For registration information, contact Rawls at 875-3285.