Release courtesy Horizon League
The Horizon League and Olympia Entertainment announced Rick Mahorn as the final panelist for the Champions Brunch at Joe Louis Arena. The NBA champion and former Detroit Pistons forward rounds out a group that includes three-time WNBA champion Cheryl Ford and Green Bay Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie as panelists and ESPN women’s college basketball analyst Kelley Deyo as moderator.
The event will be held at 10 a.m. on March 7 in the International Bancard Olympia Club inside Joe Louis Arena. Attendees receive a ticket to the Champions Brunch and a game ticket to the women’s and men’s championship games for $25. Fans with a game ticket can purchase a Champions Brunch ticket for $15. To purchase, click here.
The brunch will conclude with remarks from Horizon League Deputy Commissioner Julie Roe Lach who brings over 20 years of knowledge in intercollegiate athletics.
“As a league with a proud basketball past and continuing national prominence, we are excited to bring together experts from many levels of athletics to discuss topics of current interest in a variety of sports related fields” said Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone.
For a full listing of other fan events and activities that will take place in Detroit surrounding Motor City Madness, click here.
Biographical information about the panelists:
Cheryl Ford was drafted as the No. 3 overall pick in the first round by the Detroit Shock in the 2003 WNBA Draft. In her first year, Ford led the Shock from a worst-to-first record and a WNBA championship in 2003. She was the first player to win the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award and a WNBA Championship in the same year. The Summerfield, La., native and daughter of NBA great Karl Malone played her college ball at Louisiana Tech and was named Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
Mary Ellen Gillespie is in her fifth season at UW-Green Bay. In 2015, Gillespie assisted in collecting a record-setting fundraising total of more than $1 million for the Phoenix Fund. She inked a seven-year apparel deal with Adidas that made the company the official footwear, apparel and accessory company of the entire athletics department through the 2021-22 season.
A Hartford, Conn., native, Rick Mahorn played 18 seasons in the NBA and is in his ninth year as color analyst for the Pistons radio broadcast network. He was a four-year letter winner at Hampton Institute (Va.). and a three-time NCAA Division II and NAIA All-American. He graduated with a degree in business administration in 1980. Mahorn served as head coach of the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the 1999-00 season. He led the Lightning to a 15-7 overall record and the American Conference title, which earned them a No. 2 seed in the 2000 CBA Playoffs. Mahorn’s coaching excellence was recognized by two CBA Coach of the Month awards. He then joined the coaching staff of the Atlanta Hawks under Lon Kruger during the 2001-02 season.
Kelley Deyo is a women’s college basketball analyst for ESPN who played for the 2001 National Champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish. That same season, the four-year letter winner averaged 11.3 points per game, earning the BIG EAST Conference's Most Improved Player award while hitting the 1,000-point mark in the final game of her career. Deyo was also named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament team as well as the NCAA East Regional All-Tournament team during that memorable year. Deyo would go on to play professionally for Austria’s top division team 2003. From 2003-2007, she served as the post coach and recruiting coordinator for Liberty University.