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Kentucky to the World’s Basketball and Brotherhood: Breaking Barriers

September 27, 2023 6:30 PM
144 North 6th Street
Louisville, KY 40202 United States

Kentucky to the World (KTW) is excited to bring together University of Louisville basketball legends who changed history both on and off the court during a live program on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Muhammad Ali Center as part of the Republic Bank Foundation Speaker Series.

This conversation will explore the barrier-breaking era of desegregation with former UofL athletes who paved the way for future athletes of color. The program will touch on how their struggles and triumphs went on to shape their lives. As part of the evening, guests will hear from former players Wade Houston and Eddie Whitehead, who broke the basketball color barrier at UofL in 1962.

UofL Director of Development for Diversity and Engagement Valerie Combs, the first Black woman to sign a letter of intent to attend UofL on a basketball scholarship, and Judge Derwin Webb, a captain of the UofL basketball team who went on to become Kentucky’s first male African-American Family Court Judge, will round out the program.

A light reception will be held in the Viewpoint Room at 5:30 p.m. before the program begins.

Prior to the main program, KTW will also hold a special student briefing program at 4:30 p.m. for local middle school through university-age students where they will hear from special guests at the Muhammad Ali Center. The student program will be emceed by Gia Combs, UofL alumnus, daughter of program speaker Valerie Combs, and recent winner of Miss Cosmos United States 2023. To register student educators and community groups can reach out to KTW Education and Strategy Consultant David Thurmond at

Tickets are $30 per adult and free for students of all ages thanks to the support of the Bass Family Foundation. College, technical school, or other higher education students must show a valid student ID, with a limit of two free tickets per ID. Contact for free student tickets.

Event Details

September 27th
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Category:


Laura Mulhern
(717) 991-8509


Northern Kentucky
Muhammad Ali Center
144 North 6th Street
Louisville, KY 40202 United States
+ Google Map
(502) 262-8580

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