In August 1963, when George Raveling served as a volunteer bodyguard on the stage from which Martin Luther King would deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, the former Villanova star basketball player didn’t realize he would be witnessing history. Or that he would end up with a part of it.
“I was only about four people off to the side of King,” Raveling told Douglas Brinkley in a recent interview. “I don’t know what possessed me but I walked up to King and calmly asked, ‘Can I have that copy [of your speech]?’ Without hesitating he turned and handed it to me … Of course nobody, including myself, realized that this was going to take on the historical significance that it did.”
Nearly 50 years later, Raveling — a former college coach and now Nike’s Director of International Basketball — is still in possession of the original typewritten “I Have a Dream Speech.” Don’t be surprised if Martin Luther King Day means more to him than most people. George Raveling profile