Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and senator, didn’t object Thursday to the notion that Creighton University had traded up.
Kyle Korver, a Creighton basketball star who has played in the NBA since 2003, will replace Kerrey as Creighton’s commencement speaker on May 18.
Kerrey called Korver an excellent choice. Kerrey was scheduled to be Creighton’s commencement speaker, but some Republicans opposed Kerrey because of his position in favor of abortion rights. Kerrey pulled out, saying he didn’t want to be a distraction.
Kerrey said Korver was a fine representative of Creighton as a scholar and an athlete. “And I’ve never been able to hit a three-pointer,” Kerrey joked Thursday in a telephone interview.
Creighton will hold two commencement ceremonies on May 18, and Korver will speak at both.
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Korver, 38, is known as a three-point sharpshooter. At Creighton, he was Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year twice. In the NBA, he has played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz. He has led the NBA in three-point percentage several seasons.
He has experienced profound sadness. His brother, Kirk, died last year after a sudden illness.
Korver created a buzz last month by writing about white privilege in The Players’ Tribune, a publication that gives athletes a forum in which to write.
Among other things, he said members of society must denounce “racism — actively, and at every level.”
He went on to write: “I believe that what’s happening to people of color in this country — right now, in 2019 — is wrong.” Korver is white.
Korver also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Creighton.