UDC News

August 27, 2010


Mother of Former Maryland Standout and NBA Draftee Len Bias Delivers stirring message to UDC Student-Athletes


Washington, DC - Dr. Lonise P. Bias, the mother of Len Bias, gave a stirring speech to the University of the District of Columbia student-athletes on Friday, August 27, in the UDC Sports Complex Gymnasium on the Van Ness Campus.

Dr. Bias, who has delivered keynote addresses, facilitated and presented workshops throughout the country, embarked on her remarkable journey as a motivational speaker after the death of her oldest son, Len.

“Len Bias has done more in death that he could ever have done in life,” Dr. Bias said.  “In this life you shall have pain and it will push you through life.  But the most important lesson that life teaches is that it is not about you-it’s about those in your realm of influence.”

A star on the University of Maryland basketball team, Len Bias was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.  However, two days after being selected he died of cocaine intoxication.  Four years later, in December of 1990, the Bias family experienced the death of their second son, Jay, the victim of a drive by shooting.

“I came to give you gentle reminders of who you are,” Dr. Bias added.  “Get up in the morning and be satisfied with who you are.  Stop discounting yourself and find your personal value.  Obstacles in life come to build you up.  You need to work through your weaknesses in your personal life.”

Dr. Bias also encouraged the student-athletes to maintain self control, resist temptation, and respect authority.

“Learn to love, appreciate and value yourself,”  Dr. Bias said.  “Use every opportunity to educate yourself and always reach back to give to someone else.  Be careful of who is in your inner circle.   Self preservation comes first.”

Director of Athletics Patricia Thomas said “Dr. Bias has a profound impact on anyone who has the privilege to hear her speak.  Associate Director of Athletics Jennifer Ziarko selected a speaker who understood the student-athlete experience and at the same time delivered a powerful message through her own personal experiences.”


For additional information contact:

Bernard S. Payton
Sports Information Director
University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Office: (202) 274-5064
Mobile: (202) 498-9400)
FAX: (202) 274-5065



As the only urban land-grant institution in the country, the University System of the District of Columbia (www.udc.edu) supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the University of the District of Columbia (David A. Clarke School of Law, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts & Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) and the Community College of the District of Columbia.

Contact: Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs, aetter@udc.edu, 202.345.6371