2021 TRAILBLAZER AWARDS: Among those receiving 2021 Trailblazer Awards presented during the two-Day Cliff Robinson Remembrance event were: Cedric Holloway/Omega Mentors, Pastor James Giles, Michael Wright (aka DJ Slick Mike), Stevie Johnson, Howard Johnson, and Marsha McWilson. Pictured from left to right: Dewitt Lee, Michael King, Michael Wright (aka DJ Slick Mike), Stevie Johnson,Legislator Howard Johnson, Pastor Tim Newkirk, and renowned vocalist Marsha McWilson. Street Legacy Photos by Darvin Adams
Former Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Cliff Robinson died last August at the age of 53 after a yearlong battle with lymphoma.
Buffalo born and raised, Robinson, who was a star at Riverside High School, went on to become known as an NBA player that played 18 years in the League. He scored more points than some of the NBA’s 50 greatest players including Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin McHale and Scottie Pippen. He currently ranks 54th on the NBA ”All-Time” scoring list.
On October. 2 and 3 an event was held to remember the beloved athlete at the Johnnie B. Wiley Athletic Sports Pavilion on Jefferson Avenue. It was sponsored by Pastor Tim Newkirk and GYC Ministries . On Saturday Mayor Brown presented Pastor Newkirk with a proclamation declaring October 2 Pastor Newkirk Day in the City of Buffalo. He also received a proclamation from Erie County Legislators Howard Johnson and April Baskin. Common Council Darius Pridgen, on behalf of the entire Council, also honored Pastor Newkirk for his achievements and work in the community.
In addition, the mayor proclaimed Sunday October 3 Cliff Robinson Day in the City of Buffalo.
Cliff Robinson’s greatness extended far beyond the basketball court. A statement released by his family after his passing in 2020 read in part:
“In this day, where the call for social justice and reform are being demanded loud and clear, and today’s NBA players are speaking out, Clifford was ahead of his time as he saw the value of building bridges between the Buffalo Police force ad community long ago. He felt it was important to sponsor the Police Basketball League in his hometown of Buffalo in hopes to increase better relationships.
“(Last July) he was asked by his friend, ‘What do you think about the NBA Chief Executive Officer Adam Silver supporting the players in their call for social justice?’ He said, “They’re trying. took a minute but I applaud them.”
Clifford loved his family, friends and fans! He was a fighter and had a mental fortitude that was priceless.”