Courtesy Creighton University

Utah Jazz veteran Kyle Korver speaks at Creighton University graduation, receives honorary doctorate

by Aaron Falk

He quoted a 2nd Century saint, a famed historian, and the renowned philosopher Allen Ezail Iverson.

“Shooters shoot the ball!” Kyle Korver recalled the Hall of Famer Iverson telling him when Korver was just a rookie.

And that was just one piece of advice Korver had for the 2019 graduating class of Creighton University.

Korver, a 2003 graduate of the university, was the school’s commencement speaker on Saturday. He also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the ceremony.

In his address, Korver reflected on his 16-year NBA career. He recalled the nerves of watching the NBA draft in his dorm room on campus, the infamous trade that covered the cost of another team’s copy machine (“It’s OK. A few years back, that copy machine broke and I’m still playing”), and how, during his first NBA season, Korver found himself laying in a cold shower for over an hour, sad, angry and anxious, despite living his basketball dream.

“Up to that moment I hadn’t really considered who I was,” Korver said. “Was I just a basketball player? What did I believe in? Who did I care about? Who was important to me? What if that all went away? Who would respect me? What would my identity be? Sitting on the floor that day in the shower, I didn’t have any good answers. But something shifted in my heart when I realized something was missing from this dream I was chasing.”

Korver helped the school to four straight NCAA appearances and had his No. 25 retired at the school. His NBA career has featured an All-Star appearance and two trips to the NBA Finals. On Saturday, Korver gave the crowd a quick lesson in the proper mechanics of a jump shot, took some digs at fellow Creighton alum Doug McDermott, and more than hinted that he’d rather be playing in the Western Conference finals than giving a speech.

But Korver wanted to talk about more than basketball.

The NBA veteran discussed the Players Tribune piece he wrote on white privilege. And he implored the Creighton graduates to be more than what they do for a living, to do good in the world, and “to be someone who cares and to act like someone who cares”.

“My hope for you is that you can find purpose in your work, your relationships, your adventures in life,” Korver said. “But I also hope you can find meaning in how you engage with the world outside of yourself. Today is when you start building your legacy.”

Read the full transcript of Korver’s address here.

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