Local Olympian honored by city

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 Messenger photo by Andrew Sharp
 Columbus native and NBA star Michael Redd, a graduate of West High School and The Ohio State University, was honored by Columbus City Council for his service to the communities of Columbus. Here, Redd takes a moment to look at the gold medal he earned with US Olympic basketball team in Beijing.

Basketball player and Columbus native Michael Redd has done it all as an athlete.  He was a basketball star at both West High School and The Ohio State University, and now has a successful NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks.

In August, he topped all of those accomplishments when he won a gold medal with the US Olympic basketball team in Beijing.  But he’s also excelled as a role model through his community work in Columbus.  

Columbus City Council honored Redd for his work and success at their meeting on Sept. 8.  

Redd was given a standing ovation by the council and those in attendance as he and his wife Achea and their young son Michael II came forward for the resolution.  The council recognized Redd for "becoming a positive role model for young people not only through his athletic achievements, but especially through his community involvement and philanthropic efforts in the Columbus community," and for winning a gold medal as a member of the US team.  

Redd said he was thankful for the kind words and support from the council. "I’m just so humbled to be here today. I want to thank my wife for her support and love…it’s been a wonderful journey."  

He said the players had represented the United States the best they could.

Following graduation from West High School, Redd had a distinguished career with the Buckeyes.  In 2000, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks. With the Bucks, he set an NBA record for most 3-point shots made in a quarter with eight, and scored a team-record 57 points in one game.  

The Olympic basketball team beat Spain 118-107 in the final game to win the first gold medal for the US in basketball since 2000.  

Redd said winning the gold medal was the highlight of his career. "No question, every time you get the chance to represent your country, go to the Olympics and play on the world’s greatest stage, it’s huge, so nothing can supersede this gold medal, as far as basketball goes."  

Council Member Hearcel Craig pointed out that Redd’s response to all his success is unusual, and that many people might have focused on getting things for themselves.  

Instead, Craig said, after Redd got a lucrative contract with the Bucks, he bought a church building for his father’s ministry, and also started the Michael Redd Foundation.

"Michael’s personal accomplishments and dedication to our Columbus community are…extraordinary, and are the purpose for which he is being honored and recognized tonight," he said.  

The Michael Redd Foundation works to "advocate holistic change in the lives of those we are called to touch by promoting physical, mental and spiritual health."  

It seeks to promote faith, emphasizes strong moral values, encourages racial

reconciliation and seeks to "empower youth to excel in life, sharing God’s love."  

"I have a deep love for this city, so I want to see young people achieve the impossible," Redd said.  "So that’s my motivation, to let people know they can be something, in spite of what circumstances they come out of."

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