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Lifespan:  1937  –  2020


  • B.S., Education, 1958, Miami University


Wayne Embry attended Miami University from 1954 to 1958, pursuing a Bachelor’s in Education. Born March 26, 1937, Wayne was raised in Springfield, Ohio. Wayne Embry, as a Miami University student and alumnus, has worked to improve this University in so many ways.

Wayne started his Miami basketball career in 1956 and remained on the team until he graduated in 1958. He was affectionately called Goose by his teammates. Wayne led Miami to two Mid-American Conference (MAC) titles and two appearances in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) between 1957- 1958. Wayne set seven career records and was the first Miami University basketball player to reach 1000 points and 1000 rebounds. Wayne earned his membership in Tribe Miami by lettering in basketball, and he was a valued member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the historically African-American fraternity active on MU’s campus. When he graduated in 1958, Wayne asked if he could remain on the coaching staff as a graduate assistant. He was told he could not do so because of his race, as he noted in his 1970 Hall of Fame induction speech.

Wayne married his college sweetheart Theresa. Theresa (Terri) completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education at Miami in 1960. Terri marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama with Martin Luther King Jr. as part of a series of civil rights protests that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and spent the rest of her life fighting for racial equality. Terri served on the Education, Health, and Society (EHS) Teachers Advisory Committee at Miami University, and on two separate boards of the Urban League, in Cleveland and Milwaukee. Terri passed away August 27, 2020, at the age of eighty- two. Together Wayne and Terri had three children; Debbi, Jill, and Wayne Jr.

Wayne Embry shifted his plans when he was drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA). Wayne played professional basketball for eleven years, starting with the Cincinnati Royals for eight years, two years with the Boston Celtics, and a final year with the Milwaukee Bucks until retiring in 1969. Embry was the first African American in NBA history to be a general manager and team president. After a brief time as Director of Recreation for the City of Boston, Embry returned to Milwaukee to serve as vice president and general manager of the Bucks from 1972 to 1977. He was later President of MALCO, a Milwaukee-based auto industrial firm, and Wayne joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as general manager in 1986.

Wayne Embry’s extraordinary contributions to professional basketball, civic service, and Miami University have been recognized in many ways by the University. Wayne received the university’s Distinguished Achievement Medal in 2001. Miami University unveiled a statue of the NBA basketball star on May 18, 2021. In addition at the May 18th event, Miami University also presented Embry and his late wife, Terri with the Freedom Summer of ’64 Award which is presented every year to a distinguished leader who has inspired the nation to advance civil rights and social justice. The Wayne Embry Scholarship was created in his honor, the scholarship supports Miami varsity men’s basketball student-athletes. Today Miami University continues to recognize May 18th as Wayne Embry Day in celebrations for all his accomplishments.


Written by Laura Janosik, (4, History, 2023)


Embry Wayne, 1970. “Hall of Fame Induction Speech.” February 14, 1970.

“Former Miami great named to Basketball Hall of Fame,” Journal News, June 24, 1999, Miami University Archives, July 14, 2022.

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Miami University, Recensio 1956 (Oxford, Ohio: 1956) pp. 242, 245, Miami University archive, accessed on July 18, 2022,

Miami University, Recensio 1958 (Oxford, Ohio: 1958) pp. 254, 273, Miami University archive, accessed on July18, 2022,

Wayne Embry, “Journey from racism to chairman of the board,” The Blade, April 29th, 1997, Miami University Archives, July 14, 2022. “Playing to win,” Minority Business Entrepreneur, May- June 1987, Miami University Archives, July 14th, 2022.

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Sports Form, Miami University, Millett hall, Athletic Publicity Form, Miami University, March 26, 1957. EMBRY, WAYNE‘ 99 HALL OF FAME.

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Published: August 01, 2022

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