NBA Hall of Famer Frazier honored by his old Atlanta high school

Walt Frazier
Atlanta native Walt 'Clyde' Frazier was honored Tuesday at his old high school, David T. Howard. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

Before he won NBA titles, before his seven all-star appearances, Walt “Clyde” Frazier was the oldest of nine children, growing up in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

“I grew up maybe seven blocks from here, so I was just sitting there thinking how much time I’ve spent in this gym,” said Frazier.

The gym is now a part of David T. Howard Middle School. Before, it was an all-Black elementary school, then a high school, where Frazier graduated, class of 1963.

The NBA Hall of Famer received a hero’s welcome Tuesday in Atlanta as the school held a ceremony to name the basketball court in his honor.

“I remember the pep rallies, I used to sit over the in the corner get psyched up, guys on the team would have our shoes over our shoulders, stylin’ and profilin’,” Frazier said.

Among those in attendance Tuesday, were many of Frazier’s high school classmates and his former coach Ted Sparks, now 91.

He says not only was Frazier a star basketball and football player, but he volunteered to catch for the baseball team when no one else would.

Walt Frazier
A ceremony was held Tuesday to name the basketball court at David T. Howard Middle School after NBA Hall of Famer Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier. (Emil Moffatt/WABE)

“The truth being told, Walt made me a good coach,” Sparks said with a grin.

Frazier wiped away tears as he listened to praise from one of his sisters, Mary Frazier Ward. She says her brother has used his successful career to help his family.

“He is the wheel that makes this Frazier thing turn. And we are so proud of you,” she said.

Already in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, Frazier will be inducted this year for his work in the New York Knicks broadcast booth, too.

Ward closed her remarks, by saying how thrilling it was to hear her brother’s named announced as part of an NBA lineup.

“So as I return to my seat, I will say Walt Fraaaaazier!” she exclaimed to cheers from the crowd.

WABE’s broadcast license is held by the Atlanta Board of Education.