Wheaties Cereal Honors NBA Legend

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 17, 2009

NEW YORK — Wheaties®, ” The Breakfast of Champions®,” is honoring legendary NBA champion Willis Reed with a new limited-edition package.

The new package, unveiled at a press conference earlier this month at the NBA Store in New York City, continues the Wheaties tradition of honoring renowned African-American athletes during Black History Month.

The box also celebrates the incredible performance of Willis Reed bringing home the NBA Championship for his New York Knicks in the spring of 1970.

In a time of mood rings and pet rocks, 36 cents bought a gallon of gas and a postage stamp cost a dime. At Madison Square Garden, the crowd went wild as they heard, “Here Comes Willis . . .”

Overcoming what was thought to be a devastating injury, Reed inspired and energized basketball fans by limping his way to the court to play in Game 7.

The crowd’s energy went through the roof as he drilled two jump shots in the first few minutes and led his team to victory on the hardwood for the team’s first NBA Championship.

This was just one moment of greatness in a stellar career. That same year, Reed won the NBA Regular Season MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and NBA Finals MVP — becoming the first player in NBA history to win all three coveted awards in the same season.

After a distinguished college career at Grambling State University, Reed was selected as the eighth overall pick by the Knicks in the 1964 NBA Draft, and was the first Knicks player to be named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1965.

During his 10-year Knicks career, Reed was a seven-time NBA All-Star and led the Knicks to a second NBA Championship in 1973, once again earning Finals MVP honors.

Reed was selected in 1996 as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

“I’m honored to see my picture on the cover of the Wheaties box,” said Reed. “So many extraordinary sports legends have shared this experience, and I’m proud to be part of that team.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Willis Reed into the Wheaties family,” said Matt Beliveau, Wheaties Marketing. “He is a true champion, on and off the court, and we’re excited to honor his accomplishments.”

This marks the first Wheaties appearance for Reed. Other Wheaties Black History Month honorees have included Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Josh Gibson, Satchell Paige, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Walter Payton, Bill Russell and Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

The new 15.6-ounce Wheaties package is now available nationwide.