Arizona Christian University is excited to announce that National Basketball Association legend Paul Westphal – who began his coaching career at ACU (then known as Southwestern College) – will be the speaker at ACU’s 2013 Commencement ceremony May 25 at 11 a.m. at Palmcroft Baptist Church in Phoenix.
“Paul and Cindy Westphal have been great friends of the University for many years, and we are thrilled they will be joining us as we honor graduates in the Class of 2013,” said ACU President Len Munsil. “Paul’s clear Christian testimony — through decades as an NBA All-Star player and as a successful college and NBA coach — makes him an excellent role model for our students who seek to live lives of influence for the Lord.”
Paul Westphal was a 5-time NBA All-Star, won an NBA championship with the Boston Celtics and led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1976. He averaged more than 15 points and 4 assists per game in a 12-year playing career, and his number 44 was retired by the Phoenix Suns when he entered the Suns Ring of Honor.
Westphal led then-Southwestern College to a 21-9 record in his only season at ACU, still tied for the record for most wins in a season along with Steve Morley’s 1996-97 team. He later won an NAIA national championship with Grand Canyon University, took Pepperdine to the NCAA tourney, and won more than 53 percent of his NBA games and 55 percent of NBA playoff games with the Suns, Seattle Supersonics and Sacramento Kings, including an NBA finals appearance against Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1993.