Many great people have come from Buffalo, from business leaders to US Presidents to sports stars; Buffalo is a special place that helps shape some of the greatest people who have ever lived.

Robert Jerry Lanier, Jr. was born on September 10. 1948 in Buffalo and attended Buffalo's best High School in the 1960s. Lanier's high school basketball career didn't start out quite as he expected. He tried out for the varsity team during his sophomore year but didn't make it, it took some work over the summer into his junior year before he was able to make the team. That determination helped propel Lanier to becoming one of the best basketball players to ever come from Buffalo.

After a stellar career at St. Bonaventure University, Lanier went on to have a world-class career in the NBA. The 8-time NBA All-Star was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1992 and also awarded the Congressional Horizon and Leadership Award by the United States Congress in 2000.

Lanier earned all sorts of accolades for his on the court activities, but it's his off the court activities that really mean the most to me as a young man with basketball dreams who also graduated from the best High School in Buffalo.

I had the benefit of having a friendship with Lanier since the early 1990s. While he tutored me in basketball, it was some of the life lessons that really had an impact on me. It started with the after-school activities that I had the privilege of participating in at the Bob Lanier Community Center.

The mentoring that I received from Lanier throughout my life can never be fully measured. It never mattered what we needed if it was something on the court or off the court; if we had an issue or needed some advice he was always right there.

Lanier truly was an inspiration and mentor to so many young men and women, not only from Buffalo but all over the country.

Rest in Power Bob.

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